Security & Fraud

Philippine Regulators Say Remittance Firm Hid Heist

The Bangladesh central bank heist saga continues.

An anti-money laundering body in the Philippines is now accusing a remittance firm of being a “cleaning house” for the $81 million stolen from the Bangladesh’s central bank earlier this year.

According to Reuters, the Philippine Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has filed a complaint against Philrem Service Corporation, which it believes used a network of transfers and currency conversion to “wash” the funds before moving them to Manila casinos and junket operators.

The filing was dated Wednesday (April 27), and Philrem continues to deny any misconduct, Reuters confirmed.

The criminals behind the hack itself, which is now being referred to as one of the world’s biggest cyberheists, remain a mystery to investigators.

While no suspects have been charged, those looking into the crime have pointed fingers at the the bank’s own security shortcomings, which may have left it vulnerable to fraudsters.

Last week, Mohammad Shah Alam, who leads the Forensic Training Institute of the Bangladesh police’s criminal investigation department, said the Bangladesh central bank did not have a firewall and uses secondhand $10 switches to network its computers.

According to Alam, these lapses in security left the bank very vulnerable to the cyberheist in which $101 million was stolen from its account with the New York Federal Reserve.


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