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After $101M heist, Bangladesh central bank chief resigns

By Ed Adamczyk Follow @adamczyk_ed Contact the Author   |   March 15, 2016 at 11:41 AM

DHAKA, Bangladesh, March 15 (UPI) -- The governor of the Bangladesh Central Bank resigned Tuesday after $101 million was stolen from the bank's Federal Reserve Bank account in New York.

Atiur Rahman, an economist, resigned and was replaced by Fazle Kabir, a former finance minister, a spokesman for Bangladesh Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina announced. Rahman was not implicated in the heists, but the theft left Bangladeshi financial officials scrambling for answers regarding their security protocols.

Thieves made five successful transfers of funds --- out of 35 attempts -- from the Bangladeshi account in early February. They moved $81 million from the New York branch of the Federal Reserve to banks in the Philippines, and another $20 million to a Sri Lankan bank in a transfer later reversed by Sri Lanka's central bank.

The Federal Reserve insists it was not hacked, but noted the thieves had access to bank codes necessary to complete the transfers, adding the requests appeared to have originated in Bangladesh. Another $850 million in attempted transactions were denied by the Federal Reserve.

Bangladesh Bank said it is "working closely" with Philippines authorities to recover the money, noting all the funds in the Sri Lanka heist were recovered.

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