Bangladesh bank gets new chief as governor resigns

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Dhaka, March 15 (IANS) Hours after Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Atiur Rahman resigned on Tuesday, a former finance secretary was appointed as the new central bank chief.

The country’s Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith announced former finance secretary Fazle Kabir’s appointment as the new chief, reported.

Atiur Rahman on Tuesday resigned from his post as the country’s account at the US Federal Reserve had been hacked and some $101 million was stolen.

“Everything has been finalised to appoint Fazle Kabir as the new Bangladesh Bank governor,” he said.

Muhith said Kabir is all set to join as the new governor of the central bank after he returns home from the US next week.

Apart from this, the Bangladeshi government also appointed two new directors to the Bangladesh Bank board.

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BB spokesman AFM Asaduzzaman said a meeting of the board of directors with its two new members would be held soon to discuss the entire situation.

The heist came to light in Bangladesh only a couple of days ago following a media report in the Philippines though it occurred early last month.

Rahman has been criticized by keeping the Bangladeshi government in the dark for more than a month about the stealing that made headlines in the country and beyond.

The malware reportedly not merely hacked into the Bangladesh Bank system, but also destroyed the system on the computers itself, which are used by its officials to make transfer orders.

Muhith has come down hard on the central bank top officials as they did not timely inform the government about the matter.

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He said action will be taken against the central bank top officials.

Muhith said that the government will form a three-member high-powered committee with Mohammed Farashuddin, a former governor of the central bank, to investigate the heist.

In a press briefing later in the day, Rahman said: “I’ve resigned as the Bangladesh Bank governor with immediate effect.”

Some $101 million worth of foreign reserves of the Bangladesh Bank, deposited with the US central bank, was on February 5 stolen by hackers and transferred to Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

Some $20 million of the total stolen money has so far been recovered, sources close to central bank of Bangladesh had earlier said.

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