Egypt link found in BB heist

Investigators looking into the Bangladesh Bank heist have found clues that suggest that one or more individuals in Egypt might have been involved in stealing the $101m in February.

Sources close to the investigation told the Dhaka Tribune that their probe has revealed that an Egyptian IP address was sent an “OK notification” from Bangladesh Bank immediately after the initial money transaction requests were processed by the hackers.

Egyptian authorities have already detained and interrogated the person who allegedly used the IP address, but no breakthrough has been made so far by pursuing that lead, the source – a senior CID official – added.

He made the disclosure as a six-member Interpol team left Dhaka yesterday after collaborating with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in the digital heist case.

The Egypt Interpol unit has already sent the CID an interim report on their findings, but it contains no details on IT forensic analysis, the source said.

Bangladesh authorities now fear that the IT forensic evidence might be contaminated if there is further delay in receiving details from Egypt.

Asked to comment on the issue, CID Additional Deputy Inspector General Shah Alam told the Dhaka Tribune that they have discussed the Egypt link with the visiting Interpol team.

Local authorities might work again with this Interpol team in Dhaka or the Philippines as the visiting group came to Dhaka for just a brief three-day trip, Shah Alam added.

During their visit, the Interpol team helped the CID analyse materials including computers and documents that had been seized from the central bank premises.

Shah Alam also said the Interpol team was able to make additional findings – that the CID had not previously unearthed – by going through all the collected evidence.

The Interpol team, which included two FBI members, were helpful to Dhaka authorities as they had already visited Philippines as part of their investigation.

Meanwhile, another well-placed source in the CID told the Dhaka Tribune that intelligence officials in Bangladesh might team up with Interpol again for visiting Egypt to carry out an in-depth analysis on site.

At present, the CID is in charge of investigating the case that was filed by Bangladesh Bank with the Motijheel police on March 15.

On February 4, hackers stole $101 million from Bangladesh Bank’s accounts in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and transferred $81m to Philippines’ Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, from where the money was moved to local casinos. Around $20m was later recovered from Sri Lanka.

Source: Dhaka Tribune

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