Govt moves to tighten grip on money laundering
Fahad Ferdous: Government has decided to pool information resources on money laundering in a single file to better track the capital flight and work in a coordinated way to bring the laundered money back home.
“The government is very serious about the money laundering, it has decided to maintain a single file upon taking information from various organizations like Bangladesh Bank, National Board of Revenue and others for make the drive against money laundering easier,” a well placed source in the Finance Ministry told UNB.
He said upon preparing the file the government will take the next course of action to track the siphoned off money.
The decision was recently taken at a meeting of anti-money laundering task force of the government with attorney general Mahbubey Alam in the chair that was held at his office.
In the meeting it was decided to hold meeting in every three months and follow up the advancement of the activities of the task force.
It also took decision to not spare anyone and take appropriate measures including collection of accurate information regarding money laundering.
Representatives from Prime Minister’s Office, Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit, National Board of Revenue (NBR), Bangladesh Bank, Anti-Corruption Commission, Home Ministry and Securities and Exchange Commission were present in the meeting.
The meeting discussed about the process to stop money laundering from Bangladesh as this illegal means is going on for various reasons.
It also discussed about the way to work under one umbrella for bringing back the laundered money.
“For this purpose, the meeting decided to prepare a single file containing information from various organizations and continue its activities based on that file,” according to the meeting sources.
An NBR official present in the meeting said that the meeting sounded tough against sparing anyone for money laundering irrespective of one’s social standing.
He also said that the activities of the related organizations will be done in more coordinated way.
The matter of money laundering came in focus recently after the release of names by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in the much talked Panama Papers.
The Global Financial Integrity in its latest report said that some USD 9.11 billion was siphoned off from Bangladesh in 2014 while the amount is $61.6 billion between 2005 and 2014.
GFI said that this money siphoned off from Bangladesh through over invoicing, under invoicing, hundi and transfer pricing.
According to Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington-based firm, a total of $34.12 billion flew out of Bangladesh between the years 1990 and 2008. It means the country lost $1.8 billion in capital a year during that period, causing the tax authority to lose a huge amount of revenue.
Tax Justice Network, a UK-based advocacy group, found that Bangladesh had lost around Tk 197,600 crore between 1976 and 2010 due to illicit capital flight. Soruce:unb.