Government alerts banks about cyberattack
The government has alerted the banks about the threat of a cyberattack, instructing them to put in place precautionary measures to prevent hackers from stealing money.
A North Korean hacker group named “Beagle Boys”, which had been involved in stealing money from the central bank’s foreign exchange reserve in 2016, may try to hack into ATM booths of banks and the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) network to steal money.
Some banks have taken precautionary measures to prevent the hacking as per the instruction of the ministry. State-owned Rupali Bank has suspended the operation of ATM booths from 11:00pm to 7:00am.
In August, the Bangladesh Bank alerted banks about a possible threat of hacking in the banking transactions through ATM booths, credit cards and other modes of online banking. Almost all banks kept the ATM services and point of sales (POS) suspended from 12:00am to 7:00am.
Hackers stole $101 million from the Bangladesh Bank’s account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in February 2016. Of the sum, $81 million ended up in the Philippines and $20 million in Sri Lanka.
Banks’ excess liquidity doubles.
Banks have faced excess funds in the recent period in the wake of a slower trend of investment against the large volume of money injection by the central bank into the financial sector .
The implementation of the stimulus packages initiated by both the central bank and the government and an upward trend of remittances are mainly responsible for the excess liquidity in the banking sector, experts said.
The Bangladesh Bank (BB) has already injected around Tk 55,000 crore in the financial sector as part of its effort to implement the stimulus packages.
The upward trend of remittances has also forced the central bank to purchase $5.08 billion from banks in order to keep the exchange rate of the taka stable against the dollar, according to data from the BB. This means the central bank has supplied around Tk 43,000 crore to the market by way of purchasing the dollar given the existing rate between the taka and the dollar.
The excess liquidity in the banking sector stood at Tk 160,979 crore as of August, up from 105 per cent year-on-year. The high growth of remittances and lower credit demand have pushed up the excess liquidity in the banking sector, expert said.
Powerful syndicate active in smuggling thru Benapole landport
A powerful smuggling syndicate has become active around the country’s largest land port, Benapole. Various smuggling goods are being brought to Bangladesh using Indian trucks. According to local traders, several identified Bangladeshi truck drivers from Benapole go to India every day loading export goods. On their way back, Bangladeshi drivers contact the Indian truck drivers in Bangaon and Kolkata, India, to sell Indian medicines, cosmetics, drugs, clothing, saris. Various goods including food items are being hidden in the cabin of Indian trucks and brought to Benapole port. They said that these goods are being brought with i legally Imported products. Sometimes this goods are being unloaded from the port’s truck terminal and sometimes from inside the port.
Matiar Rahman, Director, India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industries said stolen goods were found in the driver’s cabin in trucks of legally imported goods due to the smuggling syndicate. Legal products are also being seized for this.’ Why established importers will be harassed, we want its remedy . There are illegal outsiders in every shed inside the port. They have to be brought under the law,”he said.
Benapole Customs Commissioner. Azizur Rahman said that due to the smuggling syndicate, established importers are constantly being harassed. An urgent inquiry committee will be formed to look into the matter. He added that legal action would be taken against the smugglers by conducting a mobile court on behalf of the customs, he added.