ACC seeks money launderers’ info from foreign ministry

Ahammad Foyez | Published: 23:52, Jan 13,2021


The Anti-Corruption Commission has sent a letter to the foreign ministry asking for information on government officials, politicians, business people and individuals who have syphoned off money abroad, including Malaysia, Singapore, the USA, Canada and Australia.

The commission’s director general for money laundering ANM Al Firoz sent the letter to the senior secretary of the ministry on Monday.

The commission made the request following a High Court suo motu ruling that directed the government and the commission to submit to it the details about the government officials, politicians, businessmen and others who have syphoned off money abroad, including Malaysia, Singapore, the USA, Canada and Australia.

The commission sent a copy of the letter to Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit, an ACC director told New Age.

The High Court on November 22 also directed that money should not be sent to foreign countries except through the Bangladesh Bank channel.

An online bench of Nazrul Islam Talukder and Ahmed Sohel issued the ruling taking cognisance of foreign minister AK Abdul Momen’s November 18 public statement, which was published in many newspapers on the following day.

The minister said that he had received information from an unofficial channel that many Bangladeshis bought luxurious houses in an area called Begum Para in Canada with millions of dollars laundered from Bangladesh.

Mainly, as the wives and children of a section of Bangladeshi millionaires live in Canada, it has been named Begum Para.

It was largely believed that mainly politicians had bought residences there.

Earlier on October 22, 2020, the commission sent a letter to the foreign ministry requesting it to collect and provide information about those Bangladeshis who have obtained foreign citizenship in ‘investment quota’.

In the letter, the commission said that various media reports and international research findings mentioned that a huge amount of money was laundered from Bangladesh through misinvoicing, hundi and bulk cash transfers hampering the country’s development.

 ‘A section of Bangladeshi people obtained foreign citizenships through investment in the countries concerned under the Investment Quota,’ the letter stated.

It said that the names of some Bangladeshis leaked in the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers.

The letter said that there was a possibility that the economic progress of the country would be stuck in future if such practice was not stopped.

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