BB cyber heist

Published:  12:53 AM, 08 August 2017

Conspirators and maligners should not be spared

The media agencies of Bangladesh should work with higher sensibility and patriotic views. Sometimes too much din and bustle about national issues lead to puzzlement, undue misapprehensions, false rumors and biased presumptions. For this reason, the newspa

It has been around one year and a half since the cyber attack on Bangladesh Bank's reserve took place. International hackers stole 101 million US dollars from Bangladesh Bank's reserve in February 2016. 20 million US dollars were transferred to Sri Lanka which has been already recovered. Another 81 million US dollars were transferred by the hackers into Philippines. Certain portions of this money have been meanwhile rescued too while the rest of the money is expected to be soon refunded to Bangladesh Bank.

Intelligence officials of the United States and other international agencies have informed after investigations that the cyber assault on Bangladesh Bank was carried out by Chinese and North Korean hackers. On the other hand, Rizal Commercial Bank Corp (RCBC) has been fined 21 million dollars by the Philippine authorities for not promptly responding to Bangladesh Bank's request for the recovery of the heisted amount.

Judicial department of Philippines has also instructed the Philippine government to return the entire amount of stolen money to Bangladesh Bank (BB). So, things are highly positive and optimistic regarding the rescue of the money taken away by cyber criminals.

It may be noted that leaders of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) carried out an inquiry about Bangladesh Bank's cyber heist on their own. BNP leaders handed over their inquiry report to Bangladesh Bank's top officials. BNP's inquiry report called the cyber heist "digital theft" and BNP leaders blamed Dr. Atiur Rahman and the government for the cyber attack on Bangladesh Bank. These allegations have been proven wrong because American intelligence wings have meanwhile stated after inquiries that the cyber assault on Bangladesh Bank was launched by Chinese and North Korean hackers.

Despite remarkable progress with the recovery process of the purloined money, it is regrettable that a group of malicious people sparked off undesirable buzz and clamors over the cyber heist as a result of which Dr. Atiur Rahman had to step down from the governor's post of the central bank after the cyber attack happened last year. Dr. Atiur Rahman ran the country's banking sector with superb efficiency while he was Bangladesh Bank's governor and he had obtained applause from all concerned for his hard work, dedication and integrity. But still he resigned from the governor's post to uphold his self-esteem and strong ethical principles.

Officials from Bangladesh Embassy in Manila also requested politicians and other vociferous people not to speak much on BB cyber heist because reckless remarks would slow down the money recovery drive.  However, the false charges about BB cyber heist have downplayed Bangladesh government's image and have also hurt the national and international communities' confidence on Bangladesh Bank. Consequently foreign direct investments and remittances from overseas have intensely decreased. Under these circumstances, trepidations and uncertainty are rising about Bangladesh's economy.

The same vicious quarters who maligned the government over BB cyber heist are still desperately trying to obstruct the money rescue procedure, relevant sources have informed. Bangladesh government should initiate tough measures to crack down hard on these culprits who are involved in anti-state rackets.

Following Dr. Atiur Rahman's resignation the banking sector of Bangladesh has been going through tremendous malpractices, corruption and financial disorder. Amounts of defaulted loans from both state-owned and private banks have been rising incessantly posing severe threats to the country's economy. Finance Ministry has direly failed to halt money laundering. Foreign investments and remittances from overseas have declined terribly. All these unwanted things are happening across banks and financial administration due to absence of good governance and lack of transparency.

Politicians, civic society members, higher officials, intellectuals and all conscious citizens of Bangladesh should unite themselves for the sake of the country's advancement. Upholding the country's interest on top of everything else is the first and foremost thing for them to do. Mudslinging, fallacies, vengeance, malice and reciprocal hostility should be avoided by political leaders and stakeholders all the time for this purpose. 

However, Dr. Atiur Rahman's resignation from Bangladesh Bank did not curb his honor. Rather his fame as a dexterous economist and as a celebrated scholar has reached all corners of the globe. Since resigning from the echelon of Bangladesh Bank's highest post, Dr. Atiur Rahman has been invited by reputed universities and top class financial organizations of United States of America, Japan, Malaysia, Canada, Singapore, India, Australia and many more countries where he delivered speeches on economy and banking and his participations in those programs have obtained exhilarating applause from the organizers and audiences of those conferences, lectures and workshops.

The media agencies of Bangladesh should work with higher sensibility and patriotic views. Sometimes too much din and bustle about national issues lead to puzzlement, undue misapprehensions, false rumors and biased presumptions. For this reason, the newspapers and television channels of our country should attach enough importance to safeguard the dignity of the country under all circumstances. Coverage of latest incidents, programs and reports is important but media workers should abstain from exaggerations and understatements both for the sake of promoting authenticity.   


The writer is a columnist for  The Asian Age

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