The Anti-Corruption Commission is planning to send its sleuths to Malaysia to find out Bangladeshis who invested in that country’s ‘second home programme’.
The idea of widening surveillance against the illegal investors from Bangladesh came from ACC’s sleuths who could make no headway in the investigations since 2012.
Since 2002, when the Malaysian government invited Bangladeshis to invest in the so called ‘2nd home project’ a good number of Bangladeshis illegally sent their money there to have their 2nd homes in prosperous Malaysia.
In 2016, at least 189 Bangladeshis invested in Malaysia My Second Home programme while the figure was 215 in 2015.
‘Malaysia My Second Home’ is a lucrative investment opportunity to foreigners.
In 2014, Bangladesh Bank’s Financial Intelligence Unit officials visited Kuala Lumpur in, what turned out to be a futile exercise to gather information about Bangladeshis who bought homes in Malaysia.
According to information released by Malaysian government, 2,850 Bangladeshis bought their 2nd homes in Malaysia from 2004 to 2014.
A three-member inquiry team led by ACC deputy director Zulfikar Ali , unable to make any headway in probes against Bangladeshi owners of 2nd homes in Malaysia in March proposed for widening the ongoing investigation, in its interim report, by sending sleuths to Malaysia, ACC secretary Abu M Mustafa Kamal told New Age.
He said that the proposal would be discussed at ACC meeting later this week.
He said that the ACC sought assistant from the Bangladesh Bank’s financial intelligence unit on the issue.
In 2014, the Malaysian government refused to provide unspecified information about Bangladeshis who bought 2nd homes in Malaysia to the ACC, said its officials.
They also said that Malaysian authorities, however, agreed to provide information if it was sought by providing their names and passport numbers.
ACC officials said that they had sought the information under Mutual Legal Assistance Request, as Bangladesh and Malaysia are signatories to the UN Convention Against Corruption.
A probe team member said that they found out the names of at least 15 Bangladeshis, both politicians and businessmen, who bought 2nd homes in Malaysia.
He said that a good number of migration consultancy firms facilitated money laundering to Malaysia for the 2nd home buyers.
He said that the ACC inquiry since 2012 failed to gather enough evidence against the 2nd home buyers from Bangladesh .
He said that the inquiry team interrogated five Bangladeshis who bought 2nd homes in Malaysia as well as officials of three immigration consultancy firms for their alleged involvement in helping the home buyers send the money through hundi as well as over invoicing or under invoicing.
By end November 2016, according to Malaysia Financial Intelligence Unit, 3,399 Bangladeshis availed of Malaysia’s 2nd home opportunity, ranking 3rd among foreigners who availed it.
In 2014, citizens of Bangladesh were invited to invest 100,00 to 300,000 Malaysian Ringit equivalent to Tk 2,42,759.05 to Tk 72,82,771.36 respectively in Malaysia to qualify for the 2nd home programme.
The invitation was posted on official website of Malaysia’s 2nd home project: mm2h.gov.my
2nd home owners are entitled to get Malaysia’s 10-year multiple entry visa and social pass for the same duration.
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