6 Sri Lankans banned from leaving after Bangladesh bank hack

Online hacker

A Sri Lankan court banned foreign travel by six directors of a foundation that police say was remitted some of the $101 million stolen in the hacking of Bangladesh Central Bank’s account at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York.

The Immigration Department will implement the order, spokesman Lakshan Zoysa said.

Colombo chief magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya issued the order Monday based on a police investigation of a complaint made by the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Sri Lanka’s Central Bank.

The police reported to court that the Shalika Foundation had opened an account at a private bank in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo on Jan. 28 and six days later, that account received $19,999,977.50. The bank alerted the Bangladesh Central Bank about the remittance and returned the money.

Police said the foundation was set up to help low-income families. The address of its office appears to be a closed-up house in Colombo, and the foundation has no other known contact information.

In addition to the stolen funds remitted to Sri Lanka, $81 million was transferred to the Philippines. Bangladesh Central Bank Gov. Atiur Rahman resigned last week, and Bangladesh authorities have said they were considering suing the Reserve Bank over the loss of the funds.

However, the Federal Bank said it found no evidence its own systems were compromised, and attention increasingly has focused on suspected vulnerabilities in Bangladesh bank’s cybersecurity.