HC Calls Money Launderers ‘Enemies of State’, Seeks info

On Sunday, the High Court sought information on money launderers referred to as "national traitors" and "state enemies" to be brought to book. 

It issued a rule asking the government to clarify why the inefficiency of the government agencies involved in the prevention of money laundering should not be declared illegal, reports UNB.

Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Ahmed Sohel released a suo-mote law after reading a statement by the Foreign Minister published in various newspapers.

It also directed the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Governor of the Bangladesh Bank and the Chairman of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to forward the list of individuals engaged in money laundering with their names and registration to the court within 17 December.

Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin Manik represented the state while Advocate Khurshid Alam represented the ACC.

Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen said on 18 November that government officials are involved in siphoning off money.  

“I thought that the number of the politicians (involved in money laundering) would be higher but [according to] the report I received … many government officials have houses in foreign countries and their children are studying there. I’ve received 28 cases and among them four are politicians while some are RMG businessmen. We’re trying to collect more information,” he said at a programme at the Dhaka Reporters Unity.

A number of newspapers carried the minister’s remarks.

Global Financial Integrity (GFI) report in March revealed that Bangladesh lost Tk 63,924 crore ($7.53 billion annually between 2008 and 2017 to exchange misinvoicing.

According to the annual report of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) for 2019, the deposit of money by Bangladeshis and corporations decreased by 2.38% to 603 million Swiss Francs (CHF) in 2019, from CHF 617 million in the previous year.

Bangladesh is gearing up for a crackdown on black money. The government is reportedly planning to sign taxation agreements with as many as 12 countries for allowing exchange of information in order to bring back black money stashed abroad.

In the latest budget, the government introduced a scope to whiten black money.

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