Stop trade based money laundering, Agriculture Minister urges customs officials

Agriculture Minister Dr. Mohammad Abdur Razzaque on Wednesday urged customs officials to take steps to prevent money laundering from Bangladesh.

He also emphasized enactment of stricter law like that in South Korea for curbing money laundering.

He said that a lot of money was siphoned off South Korea once which was later stopped due to strict rules and harsher punishment system which can be done in Bangladesh to stop money laundering.

The minister came up with remarks while speaking as the chief guest at a function on the occasion of International Customs Day at a hotel in the capital on Wednesday.

Abdur Razzak said, “A huge amount of money is being siphoned off the country every year through over invoicing (importing goods showing higher prices) and under invoicing. Many people including government officials and businessmen are involved in it.”

The customs department has a big role to play in preventing the money laundering, Razzaque said.

“If we want to become an upper-middle-income country, we have to increase our income. The National Board of Revenue can play a big role for this,” he added.

Highlighting the picture of the country’s development, the Agriculture Minister said, “Digital Bangladesh is no longer a dream, it is now a reality. We are far ahead of other countries in implementing the SDG goals.”

State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury also spoke on the occasion.

FBCCI President Jasim Uddin said, “Bangladesh’s goal is to become an upper-middle income country by 2031. For this, the per capita income will have to increase to USD $5,500. There is no alternative to industrialisation to achieve this goal.

“In order to increase our exports, we need to diversify our products. For this, the NBR and the private sector have to work together,” FBCCI president said.

The NBR not only keeps role in revenue collection, the revenue board is making an important contribution to the protection of local industries in the country, said NBR chairmanAbu Hena Md Rahmantul Munim.

Shehzad Munim, Managing Director of British American Tobacco and Russell T. Ahmed, President of BASIS also spoke on the occasion among others.

The keynote paper was presented in the function by NBR Member (Customs Policy) Masood Sadiq.

At the ceremony, Economic Reporters Forum (ERF), 20 customs officials and organizations were given the Certificate of Merit Award by the World Customs Organization.

Source: United News of Bangladesh