• Sunday, Jan 29, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

BB heist an inside job

  • Published at 02:22 pm March 13th, 2016

Apart from some junior officers, a high official of Bangladesh Bank was alleged to have been involved with the recent heist of $101 million from the central bank’s reserves kept with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The investigators are now intensely analysing the role of the top official as they would require permission of the government high-ups for the official’s arrest, said a senior investigator seeking anonymity.

The Organised Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department is looking into the matter while police’s elite force Rapid Action Battalion is conducting a shadow investigation.

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Tanvir Hassan Zoha, director of operations at Insight Bangladesh Foundation and focal person of the Cyber Security Programme under the ICT Division, said it was quite impossible to take away such a large amount of money without the assistance of insiders.

“Analysing primary database, we got evidence that the hacking took place from inside the country. Now we are checking how it happened from the local server,” said Zoha, who also works with the Police Bureau of Investigation.

He said that they had identified the three IDs from where the transaction had taken place. “We have forwarded the information to the intelligence officials. We have also completed the forensic examination of the server database and are analysing the result.

“The persons responsible for the offence will be exposed after final verification,” said Zoha.

A senior investigator, requesting not to be named, said that they had detected suspicious activities of a dozen of central bank officials. Of them, the account IDs and the SWIFT codes of four officials had been hacked from the local server.

“For this reason, these officials have been kept under strict surveillance,” said the officer.

Meanwhile, another intelligence agency has asked Bangladesh Bank to provide them with the CCTV footage of the last two months to check the activities of the officials kept under surveillance. The agency is also checking the e-mails and mobile phone call records of those officials to verify their role.

After the matter of hacking came to light, a RAB team comprising IT experts visited the central bank and checked the server system. They also talked to some officials, Commander Mufti Mahmud Khan, director of RAB’s legal and media wing, told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday.

The central bank has not sought formal assistance from any agency to conduct an investigation into the sensational incident.

Mirza Abdullahel Baqui, special superintendent of the CID’s Organised Crime Unit, told the Dhaka Tribune that they were gathering information on the matter but had not been given any formal charge.

Similar statement came from Monirul Islam, the chief of police’s Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit. He said that they were ready to provide any kind of assistance.

“We need to get the central bank’s call seeking cooperation to investigate the matter,” said Monirul, also an additional commissioner of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, noting that they had succeeded in unearthing the mystery behind the recent ATM forgery. 

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