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Bangladesh $81 million bank heist potentially 'an inside job'

FBI investigators believe at least part of the $81 million stolen from the Bangladesh central bank was an inside job, according to The Wall Street Journal.

According to the interview with the Journal, substantial evidence is pointing towards at least one suspect who is an employee of the bank and it has further suggested that there might be a “handful” of others who may have helped hackers navigate the bank's computer system.

These new reports could further complicate things between the FBI and Bangladesh officials, with relations between the central bank and FBI agents being reported as strained.

The hackers stole $81 million from the bank's accounts with the New York Federal Reserve, and officials at the Bangladesh central bank suggest that part of the blame lies with the Fed. “We view this as a significant lapse on the part of FRB NY," Bangladesh Bank said in an internal report.

The hackers tried to issue upwards of 35 payments to the New York Fed, 30 of which were denied. The US bank said it had followed the usual procedures and saw no evidence of a breach in the hacking incident. Initial blame has been put on the messaging software that is used across the financial sector.

The Bangladesh Bank is also considering taking further action against the Fed for the loss of funds and is “preparing the ground to make a legitimate claim for the loss of funds against the FRB NY through a legal process”, the internal report further alleges.

In response to the reports, a spokesperson for the Bangladesh central bank said: “The central bank is pursuing this case with the utmost vigour, and if anyone within the bank is found to be involved, we will take legal action as appropriate.”

Filed in: News

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