BB heist: CID again fails to submit probe report

BB heist: CID again fails to submit probe report

A Dhaka court today asked the CID to submit by March 13 the report on a case filed over the cyber heist of $101 million from Bangladesh Bank's account in 2016 -- one of the biggest cyber-crimes in the world.

With this, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) took over 57 dates for completing the investigation into the matter.

Metropolitan Magistrate Sadbir Yasir Ahsan Chowdhury passed the order after Md Raihan Uddin Khan, an additional superintendent of CID and also the investigation officer of the case, failed to submit any probe report.

Unidentified hackers stole $101 million from Bangladesh Bank's account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York by using fake orders on the SWIFT payment system in February 2016.

Later, $81 million was sent to accounts in Manila-based Rizal Commercial Bank Corporation (RCBC), from where it disappeared into the casino industry in the Philippines.

So far, Bangladesh was able to retrieve $15 million from the Philippines. Bangladesh also recovered $20 million sent to a bank in Sri Lanka.

Later on, March 15 of 2016, Zobair bin Huda, joint director of Bangladesh Bank, filed the case with Motijheel Police Station in this regard.

With the help of Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Bangladesh on February 1 launched a legal battle to recover the full amount stolen from its central bank's reserve.

The move came nearly three years after hackers stole $81 million from a Bangladesh bank account with the NY Fed.

The BB filed a case with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against Philippines' Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) and others, including several top executives, for their involvement in a “massive and multi-year conspiracy” to steal its money.

The case was lodged online with the court at Manhattan in New York City and the court accepted the lawsuit immediately, Abu Hena Mohd Razee Hassan, head of BB's Bangladesh Finance Intelligence Unit (BIFU), told The Daily Star earlier.

"The Federal Reserve Bank of New York will extend its full cooperation in the legal process and in recovering the money," he said.

Meanwhile, in a joint statement, BB and NY Fed said they were committed to work together to recover the stolen funds of BB and bring the culprits to book.

In the case statement, the BB said the RCBC and its senior personnel had full authority and control over the fictitious accounts used in the crime.

The first paragraph of the 103-page complaint reads, "This litigation involves a massive, multi-year conspiracy to carry out one of the largest banks heists in modern history right here in New York City."

Cozen O' Connor, a large US law firm, filed the case on behalf of Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, the RCBC has hired another US law firm to defend the case, claiming the lawsuit was “nothing more than a political stunt" to try to shift blame on the corporation.