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Bangladesh Bank Governor Resigns Over Biggest Ever Cyber Heist Scandal

(Credit: Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images ) DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 15: Governor of Central Bank of Bangladesh Atiur Rahman talks to journalists at his residence after he resigned from his position, in Dhaka, Bangladesh on March 15, 2016. Atiur Rahman, resigned on Tuesday after hackers managed to divert $101 million from the country's account with the Federal Reserve Bank in New York in February 2016. Governor of Central Bank of Bangladesh Atiur Rahman talks to press in Dhaka
March 16
10:57 AM 2016

Atiur Rahman, Bangladesh Bank Governor has resigned on Tuesday over the mysterious cyber heist of $81 million from Bangladesh's official account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Three of his subordinates have been fired following the biggest ever bank theft.

They are the first political casualties since the theft came to light this month. Unidentified hackers have diverted the money in early February using official electronic bank messaging technology in early February. Most of the stolen money has been transferred to accounts in the Philippines, reports The New York Times.

Rahman, a noted economist, has met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the latter's office in the morning and handed over the resignation. He has served for seven years as the central bank governor and scheduled to go on retirement in August this year. Ihsanul Karim, press secretary to the prime minister has confirmed the resignation to Gulf News.

Rahman has reiterated that the central bank hasn't informed him about the theft. He claims to get learned of the matter a month later when the news first appeared in the media. However, the prime minister has accepted his resignation, reports The Guardian quoting Rahman.

The cyber criminals have allegedly tried to withdraw $951 million from country's US bank account. But the attempt has been foiled raising red flag following detection of typographical error in one of the instructions.

More than $30 million of the siphoned money has reportedly been handed over in cash to an ethnic Chinese man in Manila, cites a Philippine Senator, investigating the suspected laundering scheme. Bangladesh officials have been scrambling to recover the stolen money due to global scale of the cyber heist.

Meanwhile, New York Fed has confirmed that its system hasn't been breached and has reportedly been working closely with the Bangladesh Bank since reporting of the incident. The incident has left other banks and businesses around the globe enthusiastic to learn details.

Philippine authorities have recovered part of the laundered money and launched an extensive investigation into the fraud following a court order. The enthusiasts are reviewing their own networks for signs of similar vulnerability to attacks. Rahman has been widely recognized for his efforts in alleviation of poverty during seven years' tenure as the central bank governor.

 News media from Philippines have first reported a possible money laundering incident of Bangladesh Bank from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The news got published after a month since the incident has taken place. However, Atiur Rahman, the central bank governor has stepped down on Tuesday though claiming to remain in dark till media outburst takes place.

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