Litro Gas Chairman arrested over Taiwan money transfer scandal
October 9, 2017 10:13 pm
The CID arrested the Chairman of Litro Gas N.M.S Moonesinghe in connection with the transfer of 1.1 million USD from the far Eastern Bank of Taiwan to a Sri Lankan bank account.
Taiwan law enforcement authorities launched an investigation into the incident after the Far Eastern Bank was hacked by means of a computer virus where over US$ 60 million was siphoned to an account in Sri Lanka.
Two suspects were arrested last week in Sri Lanka when they tried to withdraw the money, and police there were look for a third person, according to the 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.”
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 bank said it noticed some irregularities in its computerized transaction system on Tuesday and then discovered that some of its computers and servers had been infected with malware.
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.
The bank said that on Thursday it reported the matter to Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) and the CIB, which in turn informed the International Criminal Police Organization and asked for assistance.
The FSC said that it was an isolated case in Taiwan and advised that Far Eastern Bank, not its customers, should absorb the losses, the bank said.
Over the weekend, after Premier Lai Ching-te was informed about the case, he asked the relevant agencies to review Taiwan’s information security and to close any loopholes, according to Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung.