Finance Minister Muhith unwilling to make BB heist probe report public, says apex bank officials
Staff Correspondent bdnews24.com
Published: 2016-11-29 18:45:05.0 BdST Updated: 2016-11-29 18:45:05.0 BdST
Finance Minister AMA Muhith has been handed over the reserve heist probe report and he is sitting on it, Bangladesh Bank officials have told a parliament committee.
On Tuesday, the parliament committee on government undertakings wanted to have a look at the probe report done up by former apex bank governor Md Farasuddin.
Bangladesh Bank's Deputy Governor SK Sur Chowdhury told the committee that the report has been handed over to the finance minister.
"Sur Chowdhury said that the finance minister is not willing to make the report public," said the parliament committee's chairperson Shawkat Ali.
Ali described the finance minister as a "very responsible person", but insisted that the heist probe report will have to be placed in the parliament.
"The Bangladesh Bank officials have been told to get the report from the finance minister and let the parliament committee have a look during its next interaction with the apex bank officials," Ali said.
In an audacious bank heist using information technology, hackers tried to swindle $1 billion belonging to Bangladesh from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York using forged commands through SWIFT messaging system.
The hackers siphoned off $81 million to an account in the Philippines using five messages. Another $20 million were moved to Sri Lanka through another command.
Though the Sri Lankan transfer was stopped successfully, the Philippines transfer was successful and after conversion into the local currency, the money made its way to gambling dens, making it impossible to be recovered.
People in Bangladesh got to learn about the largest cyber heist in the world through reports published in a Filipino newspaper a month after the incident.
Atiur Rahman had to step down as governor of Bangladesh Bank after drawing flak for keeping the theft under wraps. It was followed by a major overhaul of the top brass of Bangladesh Bank.
A three-member committee headed by former Bangladesh Bank governor Mohammed Farasuddin was set up to probe the sensational heist.
The committee submitted its report on May 30.
Muhith promised at that time to make the report public, but has repeatedly missed deadlines .
In September, a date was finalised for making the Farasuddin committee report public but that Muhith finally backed off .
The parliament committee on finance has expressed displeasure over not making the report public.
Now the parliament committee on government undertakings in also keen to have a look at the report.
A parliament secretariat press release says the house committee on government undertakings has asked for the Farasuddin probe committee report to be placed before it.
"Bangladesh Bank says the total reserves lost in the heist was $81 million, Philippines has returned $15 million and $34 million is in the pipeline. The remaining $32 million has not been traced," said Deputy Speaker Shawkat Ali.
He said the parliament committee is keen on steps to track down that $32 million.
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