The central bank governor of Bangledesh, Atiur Rahman, has resigned 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.
Atiur Rahman told reporters he was “ready to resign from my post for the sake of the country”.
Preliminary investigations revealed 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 faced strong criticisms recently 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.
“I am very unhappy about the handling of the matter by Bangladesh Bank – very incompetent,” Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith said on Sunday.
In Nigeria, a similar hack took place recently as, scammers hacked into the email account of the CBN Governor emails account sending out authorization to the Deputy Governor of the CBN to sell forex, which has led to the suspension of some deputy directors of the bank.
There have been calls for the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele to resign over his handling of affairs of the apex bank, as he has also been reported to have been exposed in a latest scandal which he has been accused of dispensing political favours through job offers to select sons and daughters of Nigerian politicians including the President, former Vice president Atiku Abubakar, the Inspector General of Police, the Minister of Interior and many others.