The Crime Investigation Department (CID) has sent letters to the law enforcement agencies of eight countries asking them to arrest their nationals who were involved in Bangladesh Bank heist.
At least 30 to 35 foreigners from the Philippines, Hong Kong, Macau, China, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Singapore and Japan were allegedly involvement the $101 million heist last year.
CID Special Superintendent (organised crime) Molla Nazrul said: “We have sent the letters to the embassies of the eight countries asking them interrogate the accused foreigners and share the information with us.”
On February 4 last year, hackers attempted to steal $101m from Bangladesh Bank’s account with Federal Reserve Bank in New York but the theft attempt was noticed two days later.
Of the amount, transfer of $20m was immediately stopped by a Sri Lankan bank but the hackers managed to transfer $81m to Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) in the Philippines. Bangladesh also retrieved $68,000 that was left behind by the hackers at RCBC.
When asked about the expected delay in receiving a response, Molla said: “It [delay] depends on the countries that are involved with the heist.
“As soon as we receive the responses, we can close the investigation and submit a charge sheet.”
According to investigating officials, at least 40 to 45 people were involved in the heist. Out of which some 10 to12 individuals are from Bangladesh.
The international policing organisation Interpol is acting as the liaison between the law enforcement agencies of the involved countries.
Wishing anonymity, an official from the Police Headquarters said: “We are working as fast as we can to solve the case.
“But we have to depend on the law enforcers of the other countries if we want to take legal action against the accused foreigners.”
Sources concerned said the investigation is nearing an end.
Besides the CID, the Police Headquarters, Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI), Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) and the Special Branch (SB) are also involved in the case. A join team from all the departments is conducting the investigation.
Additional Superintendent of Police Raihan Uddin Khan is leading the team.
This article was first published in the Bangla Tribune