Why foreign transaction messaging network SWIFT not coming back

24 November 2021


A media report has said the Bangladesh Bank has not been able to rebuild its compromised foreign transaction messaging network SWIFT even five years after it lost $81 million to cyber hackers who broke the top secret messaging code reportedly with the help of some insiders. The central bank has no option now but to conduct foreign transactions manually - something without an parallel in the world. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has warned it will cut off transactions with the Bangladesh Bank if the SWIFT network is not re-built by June next year. But question arises as to why the central bank is failing to rebuild the transaction system and wasting time now to face a warning from the Federal Reserve Bank to rebuild it soon or face cut off of service as a Bangladesh government transaction bank with global third parties.
We also wonder why SWIFT personnel are not coming to the country even after five years of the money heist. It was quite reasonable if not quite necessary for SWIFT as an electronic money transfer service provider to send a team of monitors to Bangladesh check the broken system and find out who or how hackers were able to break the secret code it was responsible for safety of. The report said SWIFT is always pressing that its team will not face police harassment if they come to visit Bangladesh to see the system or rebuild it. We are in the dark why SWIFT is demanding impunity negotiating no harassment by the police while the same report said police are not ready to make such concessions.
We don't want to make any critical remark over such a sensitive issue but given the fact that police are not filing investigation reports on the heist case to the court taking over 50 time extensions so far and we have also a case in a New York court. We are afraid the administration maybe hiding some highly sensitive issues. The Bangladesh Bank is also a party to this while manual transfer of money continues to remain unsafe. It seems to be a big irregularity at high places of the administration. That Bangladesh Bank's secret code was broken is not the big question now; the question is why SWIFT remains abandoned and it is not coming back to the country. It is also now being speculated if SWIFT people had hands behind the scam.

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