Bangladesh had previously asked the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication to provide access to its technicians in Dhaka. The police and bank officials had accused the global financial network of introducing security holes into the bank’s network while connecting SWIFT to Bangladesh’s first real-time gross settlement system, Reuters reported. The allegation was rejected by SWIFT.
Now, a Philippine panel is investigating how the stolen money ended up in Manila.
John Gomes, Bangladesh ambassador to the Philippines, told the panel Thursday that the hackers were neither Filipino nor Bangladeshi. He also denied evidence of links between anyone in Bangladesh and the cyber heist, Reuters reported.
According to Bloomberg, Bangladesh Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith has said that the Philippines could recover $10 million of the total amount stolen in February from Bangladesh’s account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Of the attempted theft of nearly $1 billion, $81 million from Bangladesh Bank’s account in New York was sent by hackers to the Philippines, and another $20 million to Sri Lanka. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York managed to block transactions worth another $850 million. A bank in Sri Lanka was also able to return the cash, but the money in the Philippines is still missing.
“The way it has been lost, it’s very difficult to identify the beneficiaries," Muhith said last month. “It has gone largely into casinos and casino accounts.”