A portion of US$100 million which was allegedly hacked from foreign currency account of Bangladesh Bank with with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on February 5 has been recovered, the central bank said today.
Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit is in contact with the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) of the Philippines to trace and recover the rest of the money, BB said in a news release issued this afternoon.
But it did not mention the exact figure.
The AMLC in the Philippines has filed a case in this regard and got an order from a court there to freeze those accounts involved in laundering the hacked money.
According to the central bank officials, hackers stole the money from the bank’s account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on February 5.
The issue came to the forefront when Inquirer.net, a media source in the Philippines, revealed that the funds laundered were of a financial institution of Bangladesh. The Philippines’ financial regulator is investigating what could be the biggest single money laundering event ever detected in the country.
Investigators in the Philippines found that in the series of incidents, a total of around $100 million that was brought into the country’s banking system, were sold to a black market foreign exchange broker, transferred to at least three large local casinos, sold back to the money broker, and moved out to overseas accounts – all in a few days. Computer hackers stole the funds.
Bangladesh Bank has around $28 billion in foreign currency reserve. Nearly one-third of the reserve is in the form of liquid assets with the Federal Reserve Bank in the United States and Bank of England and the rest is invested in bonds and gold.