Judicial

HC orders BFIU to form research cell to bring back laundered money

The High Court (HC) on Wednesday ordered the head of Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) to form a research cell to prevent money laundering, bring back laundered money, monitor and control it.

HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Khizir Hayat passed the order after fixing October 26 for next hearing.

BFIU head Md Masud Biswas was also directed to submit a progress report regarding the formation of Research Cell by the next hearing.

The court said only exchange of letters will not be effective to bring back the laundered money.

HC asked the BFIU head, “You must take necessary effective steps. You need to monitor this issue properly. You must have knowledge and sincerity to this effect. If India can do it, why can't we?”

The BFIU head appeared before the HC bench today (Wednesday) after being summoned on Tuesday.

He also offered unconditional apology for submitting an incomplete report regarding the information of money deposited by Bangladeshis to Swiss Banks that contains no name, address or position of the person who submitted the same, said Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin.

The court had observed that submitting such a report is like taking an action but without any responsibility.

DAG Amin Uddin and Assistant Attorney General Anna Khanam Koli represented the state while advocate Khurshid Alam Khan appeared for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) during the hearing.

On August 10, the Swiss ambassador in Dhaka Nathalie Chuard said that they have been providing the Bangladesh government with all information regarding deposits of Bangladeshi money in Swiss banks, "but no request has been submitted regarding any particular account".

On August 11, the HC bench ordered the government and the ACC to explain why the government didn’t seek information of deposits of Bangladesh money stashed in Swiss banks.

On August 14, BFIU was asked to submit a report in this regard in the affidavit form.

On August 21, following the HC order, BFIU’s report was submitted stating that the information regarding deposits of 67 Bangladeshis in various Swiss banks was sought from the authorities concerned in Bern.

But the Swiss authorities only provided the details of one individual in this regard which BFIU also submitted to the ACC, BFIU said in its report.

According to the report, the Swiss bank published its annual report on June 16 this year. On the following day, the Swiss authorities were requested to provide necessary information about the money deposited by Bangladeshi banks and individuals in various Swiss banks through Egmont Secure Web (ESW).

However, Bangladesh has not yet received any information. BFIU even asked FIEU for this information on June 17 last, it added.

Source: United News of Bangladesh