Bank of Bangladesh money trail crosses Macau

The US$101 million theft from the Bank of Bangladesh account at the US Federal Reserve Bank of New York saw a majority of the funds sent the Philippines, much of it laundered via Manila gambling tables. A new BBC World Service podcast, The Lazarus Heist, looks at the theft in the broader context of North Korea hacking and other criminal activities. It’s a thoroughly compelling yarn.

Podcast producers reached out to me to help them understand the casino business in Asia. Some of my comments about Macau are featured in the ninth installment of the series, which begins in earnest around the seven minute mark, with my remarks beginning after 14:30.

I’m delighted to say that fellow CNN alumnus Mike Chinoy is also featured in the same podcast episode, sharing his insights into North Korea. During my 1991-1995 tenure in the CNN newsroom, amid the William Kennedy Smith (Blue Dot) rape trial and the OJ Simpson murder trial, Chinoy’s unflinchingly honest reporting from Beijing and North Korea – along with Christiane Amanpour’s life saving work in Bosnia – made us proud to be associated with the network.

Former US diplomat and broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a columnist for iGaming Business, a contributor to Forbes and Inside Asian Gaming, columnist/correspondent for Asia Times, and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.