May 18, 2016 / 12:23 PM / in 3 years

Slovenia investigates foreigner over failed Vietnam cyber-heist

An illustration picture shows a projection of binary code on a man holding a laptop computer, in an office in Warsaw June 24, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Files

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - Slovenian police said on Wednesday they were investigating a foreigner over an attempted cyber-heist in which criminals unsuccessfully tried to send money from a Vietnamese bank to a Slovenian one in December.

Police declined to identify the suspect or the Slovenian bank but said it was based in the northeastern city of Murska Sobota and had not suffered any losses.

The foreigner was suspected of theft and money laundering, and the Slovenian bank had alerted the police, force spokeswoman Suzana Raus said.

Le Manh Hung, head of the State Bank of Vietnam’s (SBV) Information Technology Department, told Reuters on Tuesday that the Dec. 8 transfer - for 1.2 million euros via the SWIFT network - was the only attempt to steal funds detected by Tien Phong Bank (TPBank).

Unlisted TPBank revealed the interrupted cyber heist in response to Reuters inquiries on Sunday. It involved the use of bogus SWIFT messages, the technique at the heart of a massive theft in February from the Bangladesh central bank.

SWIFT, a linchpin of the global financial system, is used by about 11,000 banks and financial institutions for transactions.

Reporting By Marja Novak; Editing by John Stonestreet and Andrew Heavens

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