Oct 09, Taipei: Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) is preparing to send a team of investigators to probe the cyber heist where hackers illegally transferred millions of US dollars from a leading bank in Taiwan to two bank accounts in Sri Lanka.
The CIB has said Monday that it was preparing to send investigators to Sri Lanka to seek further details on the reported arrest there of two suspects accused of helping hackers stealing USD 1.1 million from the Far Eastern International Bank, Focus Taiwan news channel reported.
However, due to the fact that Taiwan has no diplomatic ties with Sri Lanka or any government representatives stationed there, the CIB told CNA, it would take some time to get everything in order for the investigators to go there.
According to news reports, Far Eastern International Bank was hacked by means of a computer virus and some US$60 million was wired to the accounts of the suspects at a Sri Lanka bank in the capital Colombo.
Sri Lankan authorities have arrested two suspects last week when they tried to withdraw the money, and are looking for a third person, according to news reports.
"We are looking at some US$1.3 million that had come into three accounts in Sri Lanka," an unnamed Sri Lankan official involved with the investigation was quoted as saying in an AFP report. "We have taken two people into custody, and we are looking for one more person."
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has also launched a special investigation into the heist.
Local Daily News quoting Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of the CID, B.R.S.R. Nagahamulla reported that a suspect has been arrested when he attempted to withdraw the money.
According to the reports, the individual had withdrawn Rs. 30 million (approximately US$ 196,000) and the bank had alerted the CID when the same individual attempted to withdraw Rs. 80 million (US$ 522,000) later.
On Saturday, Far Eastern Bank said it had recovered most of the stolen money and that its losses would amount to no more than US$500,000.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication's (SWIFT) network was also compromised, which allowed the hackers to wire money to international destinations such as Sri Lanka, Cambodia and the United States, Far Eastern Bank said.