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8 Sri Lankan nationals suspects of Bangladesh bank heist

Bangladeshi investigators have identified eight Sri Lankans as suspects among 20 foreign nationals suspected to have been involved in the US$ 101 million cyber heist from the nation's foreign reserves.

According to a Reuters report, a Bangladeshi police officer has said on Monday that the investigators have identified 20 foreigners - 12 Philippine nationals and eight Sri Lankans - as suspects involved in the cyber heist, but they appear to be those who received some of the payments, and not the hackers.

Mohammad Shah Alam, a senior officer at the criminal investigation department (CID) of the Bangladesh police, said Interpol had helped identify the foreigners suspected to be involved in one of the largest cyber heists in history.

"We have identified at least 20 foreigners with name and full particulars who we believe were involved," Alam told reporters.

Hackers using official messaging codes transferred $81 million to accounts in Manila, Philippines and $20 million to the account of a newly formed NGO in Sri Lanka.

A 16-member team of the CID have visited the Philippines and Sri Lanka to collect information on the heist. The details on the outcome of the visit will be made public later on, the official said.

Another official on his team said the results of the investigation had been submitted to Philippine and Sri Lankan authorities.

Both Alam and the other official said they could not provide more details about the foreign suspects because investigations were not complete.

Sri Lanka's Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is also investigating the cyber theft, but has declined to provide any information.