Bangladesh Bank SWIFT meeting to regain $81 mln


5 May AtoZForex, Vilnius — Next week, a meeting will take place between the officials of the Bangladesh Bank, SWIFT and the New York Federal Reserve Bank. The purpose of the Bangladesh Bank SWIFT meeting is to retrieve the $81 million that stolen by hackers. According to the officials of the Bangladesh Bank, both SWIFT and the New York Fed are liable to a certain extent for the $81 million heist.

The Bangladesh Bank SWIFT meeting will take place approximately on 10th of May in Basel, Switzerland. Present from the Bangladesh Bank will be governor Fazle Kabir, along with the President of New York Fed William Dudley and a representative from SWIFT.

Only $15 million got returned

The Bangladesh Bank hack occurred at the start of February. When hackers attempted to steal almost $1 billion from the New York Fed’s settlement account of the Bangladesh Bank. Among 35 transfer orders forwarded only five passed, with the remaining 30 ones being blocked. One out of these five transactions was canceled due to the misspelling of the firm’s name. This cancelled transaction involves $20 million and was supposed to reach a company in Sri Lanka.

Four of these five transfers got successfully wired to a bank in the Philippine, which amounted to $81 million. So far, only $15 million has been returned, while the remaining is still missing. One of the officials from Bangladesh stated that the Fed of New York has to recognize its responsibility, as their actions were confusing. Alongside, SWIFT is also liable according to the official:

“There is a responsibility the New York Fed has to accept. If you stopped 30 transactions, why did you not stop the others? SWIFT also bears responsibility, It’s supposed to be a closed system. Now you have seen they have disclosed that there have been attacks previously on its software.”

Examination of Bangladesh Bank SWIFT contracts

According to an internal report of the Bangladesh Bank, it was reported that the Central Bank is considering to make a legitimate claim for the stolen funds through a legal process against the New York Fed. A court of the United States will go through all the contracts which were made between SWIFT, the New York Fed and the Bangladesh Bank.

Yet, there is the possibility that the New York Fed could stop the lawsuit. As the New York Fed is able to defend itself with the sovereign immunity argument, considering it is an arm of the US government.

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