August 17, 2022, 6:36 am

Staff Correspondent

2021-12-06 18:06:10 BdST

BFIU, CID asked to report over steps against money launderers

The High Court has directed the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Police to submit separate reports in the court over what steps have been taken against the persons whose names came into Paradise Papers and Panama Papers leak as money launderers.

It also wanted to know from the BFIU and CID what steps they have taken to prevent money laundering from the country.

The court on Monday also wanted to know from the BFIU as to why they failed to provide necessary information demanded by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) at different times.

The two government agencies have been asked to comply with the court's direction within January 9, 2022.

The High Court bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice AKM Zahirul Huq passed the direction after hearing on separate rules issued over taking action against the Bangladeshi nationals who purchased homes and properties in foreign countries through money laundering.

During the hearing of another case, the same HC bench observed, “There is no scope to take any corruption lightly. The black hand of corruption must be broken. We are very strict about corruption. There is no exemption for the corrupt persons.”

Lawyer Abdul Kaium Khan who appeared in the rule hearing on behalf of the writ petitioners told the High Court that the respondents including the BFIU and CID are not taking any viable steps regarding the money laundering from the country. That is why a specific direction is needed upon them over the issue.

Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan who appeared for the ACC said that the ACC has sought information from the BFIU, National Board of Revenue (NBR), and Foreign Ministry about the persons whose names came into the Paradise Papers and Panama Papers as money launderers.

But the organizations have not provided sufficient information over the persons and money laundering yet, added the lawyer. 

Deputy attorney general AKM Amin Uddin Manik told the court that the government agencies concerned and Foreign Ministry are working to gather information from the foreign countries about the money launderers. But the foreign countries don’t want to cooperate with information in this regard.

After hearing the parties the court passed the direction.

During the hearing, the court said that it want to start a step to end the corruption and money laundering from the country. “We cannot fold our hands. We have a responsibility to our society. There are many organizations in our country but not a single against corruption,” added the court.

This is a pious wish of this court that we want corruption should be ended totally, it also observed during the hearing.

Earlier on Sunday, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) submitted a report in the court complying with its earlier order. In the report, the ACC listed 29 individuals whose names came into the Paradise Papers and 14 other individuals whose names came into the Panama Papers as money launderers.

Supreme Court lawyers Abdul Kaium Khan and Subir Nandi Das on February 1 in 2021 filed a writ petition with the High Court seeking its directive upon the respondents to take appropriate steps for bringing back of the laundered money from foreign banks including the Swiss banks.

Following the writ petition, the High Court on February 28 wanted to know the names of the Bangladeshi nationals who have deposited money in the banks of Switzerland (Swiss banks) and what steps have been taken to bring back that money and issued the rule.

The court also issued another Suo Moto (voluntary) rule in this regard and held a joint hearing over the rulings.

After receiving some compliance from some of the respondents the court on Sunday last start hearing on the rules issued earlier.

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