Bangladesh’s central bank chief resigned on Tuesday, the finance minister said, after hackers stole $81 million from the nation’s foreign reserves in an audacious cyber-heist that has hugely embarrassed the government.
“He called me yesterday and I’ve asked him to resign. And he has resigned today,” minister A.M.A Muhith told AFP, referring to the Bangladesh Bank governor Atiur Rahman.
The theft from an account Bangladesh held with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has raised alarm over the security of the country’s foreign exchange reserves of over $27 billion.
The hackers attempted to steal almost $1 billion and were only prevented from taking more than they did because of a basic typing error, the Bangladesh Bank’s deputy governor told AFP last week.
Rahman, an economist, was appointed as the governor of the Bangladesh Bank in 2009 and had been due to retire in August.
His resignation comes after Muhith revealed that he was only informed of the losses around a month after they occurred on February 5.
“Bangladesh Bank had the audacity not to inform me. I am certainly going to take action against it,” the minister told reporters on Sunday.
As details of the scandal emerged last week Rahman, 64, flew to India to attend an International Monetary Fund meeting, leaving the more junior central bank officials scrambling to explain how the hackers managed to take such large sums.