The government has speeded up investigation into cases filed over money laundering and terror financing to bring offenders to book.
Recently, the money-laundering protection committee has held a coordination meeting with government agencies to discuss the progress in 82 cases filed over money laundering and terror financing.As part of the government’s commitment, they have also given some directives to fight such crimes, a senior official of the Finance Ministry told the Daily Sun.
The official, also a member of the committee, said the investigation into money laundering and terror financing has been continuing, but the Covid-19 pandemic has slowed down the progress.
The meeting also gave directives to enhance vigilance and observation in money transactions through Mobile Financial Services (MFSs), export-import related money transactions and checking the aims of LC opening and maturing the LCs payment, he said.
Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU), the National Board of Revenue (NBR) and the cells of the finance and home ministries are working jointly to prevent money laundering and terror financing inside and outside the country.
The meeting also emphasized the need for coordination between local and international agencies.
The committee has reviewed the progress of 82 money laundering cases filed in different time by the Customs intelligence unit and the Central Intelligence Cell of the NBR and different banks.According to sources, a notable issue has been discussed at the meeting in order to prevent money laundering and terror financing. Of 82 cases, 50 money laundering cases are under investigation.
Charge sheets in 3 cases have been submitted. Separate letters have been sent to the NBR, seeking permission for approval of the final report on accepting statement on evidence in 7 cases.
The meeting was informed that investigation into 21 cases has been carried out jointly by the ACC, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police, the Customs Intelligence and the Investigation Department.
NBR Chairmen Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem, who chaired the meeting, said although 82 cases over money laundering were filed, but these were not playing an effective role in curbing such crimes.
It is found during the investigation that the money-laundering cases were filed only when the intelligence unit finds discrepancies in the accounts. But this case cannot later be proved as money laundering.
In this situation, the NBR's customs detective and investigation department has been directed to look into a number of issues, including collecting factual information while filing a money laundering case, he added.
Head of BFIU Abu Hena Md Razee Hassan said, “We’ve received information on a number of money-laundering allegations during our probes. We’ve submitted a list and documents to law enforcement agencies for more investigation before taking legal steps.”
The BFIU is working on a priority basis to prevent money laundering and terror financing as per the given directives and guidelines in this regard, he said.
In a post-budget media briefing, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said, spoke about the government's commitment to curb money laundering.
The government, he said, would look into ways of curbing money laundering by formulating and strengthening the laws, through due diligence and automation.
“We need to upgrade the laws. If there are flaws, we can make the laws comprehensive,” Mustafa Kamal said.