ACC seeks UN's help to recover laundered money from Dubai

Desk Report

Published: 31 Aug 2023, 12:11 pm

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) will enlist the help of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) GLOBE-E network to recover money laundered from Dubai. Regarding the issue the commission has already sent a letter to the cabinet department. In accordance with this The Cabinet Department has sent a letter to the Ministry of External Affairs to take necessary action in this regard.

They will convey the matter through the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UNODC office in Vienna, Austria.

According to ACC sources, GLOBE-e network is a platform of UNODC itself to exchange corruption information from one country to another. Countries that become members of this platform will help those countries to get information. Its spokesman will communicate with the responsible representatives of the two countries concerned; Provide all assistance in exchange of information between both parties.

It is known that the ACC has taken the initiative to become a member of the United Nations GLOBE-E network in order to collect information on flats and other assets in the name of 549 expatriate Bangladeshis in Dubai and to conduct activities to bring them back.

Meanwhile the ACC has already started a search to gather information on Bangladeshi expatriates in Dubai. At this stage, a high-level official of the ACC said that the money invested in acquiring assets/property by 549 Bangladeshis in Dubai was not taken legally. All that money has been laundered. ACC is carrying out various activities to bring back the smuggled money. Part of that is seeking to become a member of UNODC's GLOBE-E network. If you become a member of that platform, this search will go a long way.

A special team led by ACC Head Office Deputy Director Ram Prasad Mondal is probing the allegation that Bangladeshis owning 972 flats/apartments in Dubai by investing $315 million. The search was launched in April this year.

A letter has been sent to the Central Bank's Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) and the Ministry of External Affairs to collect information. Collecting specific corruption data from abroad is a lengthy process. Getting information through BFIU, Ministry of External Affairs and Mutual Legal Assistance Request (MLAR) has become difficult. That is why the Commission wants to become a member of UNODC's GLOBE-E network.

According to ACC sources, 549 Bangladeshis with UAE golden visas have acquired wealth in Dubai. Again, many expats have owned flats/houses in Malaysia under the Second Home Scheme. Apart from this, there is a huge investment of Bangladeshis in Canada's Begumpara.

The US-based non-profit organization Center for Advanced Defense Studies (CFADS) in a research report in May last year highlighted the purchase of housing properties in Gulf countries mainly with laundered money. The report also revealed that 549 Bangladeshis invested 315 million dollars in Dubai and purchased a total of 972 properties.

According to the source of those properties in the residential sector, 64 are located in Dubai's elite area, Dubai Marina, and 19 are located in Palm Jumeirah. At least one hundred villas and at least five buildings are owned by expatriate Bangladeshis. Among them, four-five Bangladeshis own about 44 million dollars’ worth of property.

Earlier on January 15, Supreme Court lawyer Subir Nandi Das filed a writ in the High Court. After the hearing of that application, the concerned bench ordered four agencies including ACC to investigate the assets of 549 Bangladeshis in Dubai.

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