HC orders probe into properties of Bangladeshis in Dubai

Supreme courtFile photo

The High Court has ordered four government agencies to look into the alleged property purchase by 459 Bangladeshis in Dubai.

A bench comprising Justice Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Khizir Hayat passed the order along with a rule on Sunday, hearing a petition filed by a Supreme Court lawyer.

The four agencies – Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), the police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU), and the National Board of Revenue (NBR) – have been asked to submit reports to the court with updates within 30 days.

A national daily, on 10 January, reported that some 459 Bangladeshi citizens own nearly a thousand properties in Dubai. Supreme Court lawyer Subir Nandi Das drew the attention of the court to the report and filed a petition two days later.

During the hearing on Sunday, Subir Nandi Das himself argued in favour of his petition while deputy attorney general AKM Amin Uddin argued for the state and senior lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan represented tACC.

In its rule, the High Court sought to know why the inaction and failure to take appropriate action against individuals or entities who have illegally laundered money and made houses, flats or any other assets in Dubai would not be illegal.

The court also asked why it would not be ordered to take action against the individuals responsible for amassing these assets flouting the law.

Earlier, two Supreme Court lawyers, including Subir Nandi Das, filed a writ petition with the High Court in February, 2021, seeking directives to take proper steps to reclaim the money that were laundered and kept in Swiss Bank and other overseas banks by the Bangladeshi citizens and companies.

The court heard the petition and issued an order with rule on 28 February. The fresh petition was filed taking a cue from the 12 January writ.