It has been a year since the investigation of the Bangladesh Bank heist of $101 million began, but no major progress has been made in tracing the lost money or the culprits.
Bangladesh has only managed to retrieve around $36 million and investigators are still unsure about how the rest of the money will come back to the country.
In January this year, a Bangladesh Bank executive said they are expecting to retrieve more $30 million from the untraced $65.68 million as they believe the money is stuck in Solaire Casino of Philippines.
He said legal procedures to bring the money back is ongoing at a court in the Philippines.
Sources in the Criminal Investigation Department said they were yet to identify the hackers and the people involved with the heist. A team from the CID has already visited both Sri Lanka and Philippines but they failed to make any progress, alleging that the countries were uncooperative.
A CID high official told the Dhaka Tribune that they have roughly completed their investigation in Bangladesh and they have identified officials from Bangladesh Bank who could be involved with the heist.
“We are waiting for hard evidence on the matter as accusing someone on the basis of suspicion might give them the scope to escape using legal channels,” he added.
When contacted Additional DIG Shah Alam told the Dhaka Tribune that they were not in a position to disclose any updates regarding the investigation.
When asked about lack of cooperation from the other countries, he denied the claim and said they were helping in the investigation as much as they could.
He said he had talks with chiefs of police of the concerned countries and they have assured their force would cooperate with Bangladesh CID.
On February 4, 2016, hackers attempted to steal $101 million from Bangladesh Bank’s account with Federal Reserve Bank in New York which was noticed on February 6. On March 15, 2016 investigation began after a case was filed on the same day the then governor of Bangladesh Bank Atiur Rahman resigned.
Of the $101 million, transfer of $20 million was immediately stopped by a Sri Lankan bank but the hackers, managed to transfer $81 million to Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) in the Philippines.
Bangladesh also retrieved $68,000 that was left behind by the hackers at RCBC.