- ‘Delay in informing govt was as per protocol’
- Demands proper probe, punishment of culprits
Atiur Rahman, who resigned as Bangladesh Bank governor this morning, said he opted to quit out of moral responsibility over the heist of US$101 million from the central bank’s account with the New York Federal Reserve Bank.
He disclosed his opinion at a press conference in his Gulshan residence this afternoon, hours after submitting his resignation to the prime minister.
Atiur, as the governor of the central bank, drew flak after keeping the government in the dark over the stealing of Bangladesh’s wealth for more than a month which made headlines across the world.
“I am leaving as a hero. I did not want my institution, the Bangladesh Bank, and my country facing any controversy over the issue,” he told reporters.
The hacking took place on the night of February 4, a Thursday, using information stolen through the malware, which sent a total of 35 transfer orders to the NY Federal Reserve Bank where the BB has an account. The next two days – Friday and Saturday – were weekend in Bangladesh.
The powerful malware not only hacked into the system, but also destroyed the system on the computers itself, which are used by the officials to make transfer orders. Data on the printers were also destroyed by the malware.
Bangladesh Bank’s late disclosure of the matter led to displeasure of the prime minister, finance minister and other government officials. Several quarters have also raised a storm of criticism on the social media.
He said it took some time for Bangladesh Bank to understand the stealing. “There was some lacking in our understanding. But more importantly, I tried to fence what we had left and prevent any further damage.”
“It took us some time to disclose the matter. But, what we have done was according to protocol,” he said, and added that the government was knocked after the bank had a better understanding and control over the situation.
“It was a very high-tech incident of cyber attack. We couldn’t understand it in the first place. But this incident has a lot of positive sides. We can turn a crisis into opportunity.”
He also demanded proper investigation of the incident and wished for punishment of the perpetrators.