Bangladesh hopes to recover $30 million more from cyber heist

Commuters pass by the front of the Bangladesh central bank building in Dhaka March 8, 2016. REUTERS/Ashikur Rahman/File Photo

DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh’s central bank hopes to retrieve $30 million more of the $81 million stolen from its account at the New York Federal Reserve in February, two bank officials said on Monday.

Hackers used stolen Bangladesh Bank credentials to try to send three dozen SWIFT messages to transfer nearly $1 billion from its Fed account. They succeeded in transferring $81 million to four accounts at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp in Manila.

Most of the money was laundered through casinos in Manila.

On Friday, Philippine authorities began the process of handing over $15.25 million to Bangladesh.

“We are hoping to get back around $30 million which remains frozen,” Bangladesh Bank deputy governor Abu Hena Mohammad Razee Hassan, who heads its financial intelligence unit, told Reuters.

A Bangladesh team was likely to visit the Philippines at the end of the month to accelerate the process, he said.

“We are expecting to get a favorable verdict from Philippines’ Supreme Court as it has already been proved that $81 million is our money,” said another Bangladesh Bank official, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Nick Macfie