The High Court on Sunday termed money launderers as “national traitors” and “enemies of the state” who should be brought to book. The court also sought information on the money launderers, reports news agency UNB.
It issued a rule asking the government to explain why the ineffectiveness of government institutions concerned to prevent money laundering should not be declared illegal.
The bench of justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and justice Ahmed Sohel issued the suo moto rule after noticing the remarks of foreign minister AK Abdul Momen published in different newspapers.
It also ordered the secretaries to home and foreign ministries, the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Bangladesh Bank governor and National Board of Revenue (NBR) chairman to submit the list of those involved with money laundering with their names and identification to the court within 17 December.
Deputy attorney general AKM Amin Uddin Manik represented the state while advocate Khurshid Alam stood for the ACC.
On 18 November, foreign minister AK Abdul Momen said government officials alongside politicians 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 reports about 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.
A report of the Global Financial Integrity (GFI) in March said that Bangladesh lost Tk 63,924 crore ($7.53 billion) a year between 2008 and 2017 to trade misinvoicing.
According to Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) annual report for 2019, deposit of money by Bangladeshis and enterprises went down by 2.38 per cent to 603 million Swiss Francs (CHF) in 2019 from 617 million CHF 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.