Two people have been arrested in Sri Lanka for suspected money laundering from a Taiwanese bank whose computer system was hacked to enable illicit transactions overseas, police said on Monday.
Moonesinghe is also the Leader of the New Democratic Front, under which President Maithripala Sirisena contested and won the 2015 Presidential Election.
“We arrested on a tip-off from the Bank of Ceylon that there had been a suspicious transaction”, Shani Abeywardana, Director at the Criminal Investigation Department, has told Reuters.
Sri Lankan police investigated a similar theft in February a year ago when hackers broke into the computer system of the Bangladesh central bank and transferred US$20 million of stolen money to a Sri Lankan businesswoman.
“From the investigations and questioning we’ve found out that this is connected to hacking in Taiwan”, Abeywardana said.
The pair were arrested after they tried to withdraw large sums of money that had been wired to their accounts with a Sri Lankan bank branch in the capital Colombo, the official said.
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 USA dollars from a leading bank in Taiwan to two bank accounts in Sri Lanka.
In Taipei the Financial Regulatory Commission confirmed that the local Far Eastern International Bank’s SWIFT system had been hacked through a computer virus but gave no details. Police in Sri lank have arrested two men in connection with the incident and the bank says that it has tracked down and recovered all but $500,000 of the stolen funds, and expects to eventually recoup the full amount.
The Far Eastern International Bank reported suspicious transactions to the United States, Cambodia and Sri Lanka.