Dhaka, Bangladesh – The central bank governor resigned on Tuesday after hackers allegedly stole $81m of government money from a US account and he failed to inform the finance minister about the massive cyber-heist.
Central Bank Governor Atiur Rahman told reporters he was “ready to resign from my post for the sake of the country”.
Preliminary investigations suggest that hackers accessed Bangladesh Bank’s computer systems and stole key information in order to pull off the brazen electronic theft.
The US Federal Reserve Bank in New York transferred $81m from Bangladesh’s bank account on February 4 into the accounts of four men in the Philippines, after receiving what appeared to be legitimate transfer orders.
The transfer of another $20m to a Sri Lankan bank was stopped after a routing bank became suspicious of a spelling mistake and sought clarification from Bangladesh Bank, officials said.
The hackers are reported to have sent dozens more false vouchers to the US Federal Reserve Bank, which could have resulted in the transfer of about $950m from the Bangladesh account.
The governor has been strongly criticised in recent days for failing to inform the finance minister about the huge loss, which only came to light following news reports in the Philippines – one month after the money was illegally transferred.