We can recall the utter surprise of foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on finding families of politicians and government officials of Bangladesh living in luxurious residences abroad in 2018. Thereafter, newspaper stories flooded the weeklies and dailies making the ‘Begum Para’ of Toronto infamous in the country. We must be proud of all Bangladeshi immigrants who earn their luxurious livelihood abroad by dint of hard work and intelligence. But the decadent luxurious lifestyle of the Bangladeshi families mentioned by our honourable foreign minister had no proof of earning any livelihood in Canada. That is where the country’s hardworking taxpayers want to draw the attention of the relevant authorities.
We feel disheartened when authorities fail to catch, seemingly only by a few minutes, a notorious money launderer like PK Halder, who allegedly siphoned over Tk 10,000 crore from four non-bank financial institutions. We feel more disheartened when we look at the huge amounts that could be siphoned so quietly from the coffers of our beloved country, for it is obvious that many living in the country have helped these looters in exchange for their cut of the loot.The British and Pakistani colonial powers extracted our wealth to enrich their own people and land. It is heartbreaking to see Bangladeshis siphoning the wealth of our beloved country to distant shores for their narrow selfish gain. Wise people know that history never forgives nor forgets those who betray their own people and country, and they never find peace anywhere in the world.
We want efficient systems and effective financial management, stopping under-invoicing and over-invoicing, safeguarding the interest of the common man who are the majority of our population, securing our financial institutions against money laundering by the systemic reform of our financial sector by new laws as stated by the finance minister.
We want to see all related government bodies to be empowered to stop laundering of our wealth to fill the coffers of other countries. The theft must stop here and now, as it is no longer an alien stealing from us, but powerful Bangladeshi citizens given the responsibilities and duties to work for the country who betrayed our trust. Therefore, we expect the government to deal with them strictly whosoever they may be for the sake of realising Bangabandhu’s dream of a corruption-free Bangladesh.