False campaign against govt over cyber heist

Published:  02:21 AM, 14 September 2017

Why Bangladesh Bank mum?

Bangladesh Bank (BB) has been mysteriously silent over the false propagations and fabricated posts going viral on social networks since cyber hackers attacked its reserve in February 2016 through which 101 million US dollars were robbed online by international crooks.

Vested quarters and anti-independence platforms with vicious political aims have uploaded a great deal of concocted stories on social networks for more than one year with totally antagonistic, fake and maligning allegations about Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's son and her ICT adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy and central bank's former governor Dr. Atiur Rahman.

But it is surprising and at the same time suspicious for what reasons Bangladesh Bank authority has not yet made any specific, categorical statement denying these fallacious campaigns

As a result doubts are arising among the country's people whether the central bank is working for or against the government. Eminent economists and financial experts have also expressed astonishment at the persistent silence from Bangladesh Bank's current governor, higher officials and their apparent passivity regarding this issue.

Some of the fake posts on social networks state that the password for Bangladesh Bank's reserve was known to only Sajeeb Wazed Joy and Dr. Atiur Rahman. Unfortunately Bangladesh Bank's authority has not yet presented any response to such malicious online propagations by anti-government groups. It is not at all clear whether Bangladesh Bank has any ulterior motive behind this silence, in terms of observations from relevant sources.

It needs to be added that larger portions of the heisted money have been already recovered from Philippines and Sri Lanka. The rest part of the amount is going to be soon rescued, according to reliable sources from the government. Keeping these things in view it can be firmly asserted that Bangladesh government is working hard to recover the total sum of the stolen money.

On the other hand, authorities in Philippines have in the meantime taken stern actions against Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC), Philippines for not rapidly complying with Bangladesh government's request for cooperation for recovery of  the money purloined by hackers from Bangladesh Bank reserve.

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 intelligence wings from different countries have meanwhile stated after inquiries that the cyber assault on Bangladesh Bank was launched by Chinese and North Korean hackers.

Former finance adviser to caretaker government Dr. AB Mirza Azizul Islam told The Asian Age, Bangladesh Bank's performance on this issue is completely disappointing. I cannot exactly rely on the worth of Bangladesh Bank's present authority.

Former governor of Bangladesh Bank Dr. Saleh Uddin Ahmed said to The Asian Age, Bangladesh Bank should have been more proactive for recovery of the heisted money right after the cyber attack took place. Now this case has gone up to the court in Philippines. Under these circumstances, Bangladesh Bank should appoint a competent lawyer. However, it may take time to recover the full amount from Philippines.

Professor Abu Ahmed, Dhaka University told The Asian Age, At present Bangladesh Bank is engaged with the judicial procedure which is going on in Philippines.

In my view recovery of the total sum might be difficult even though the government is trying its best. It is absolutely Bangladesh Bank's failure. Diplomatic initiatives should be further strengthened to expedite the money recovery process. At the same time Bangladesh Bank should make its standpoint clear to the country's people.

Dr. Khondaker Ibrahim Khaled, former deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank said to The Asian Age, Bangladesh Bank could not handle the situation effectively as soon as the cyber hacking occurred. Some of the heisted money has been already rescued. I am hopeful that the rest of the money would be recovered soon.

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