Govt to amend money laundering act: Kamal

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Thursday said the government would make necessary amendments to the Money Laundering Prevention Act of 2012 to cope with the changing scenario of money laundering and terrorism financing, reports BSS. “If we face any problem like in case of filing cases, then there is a need to make necessary amendments to the existing law… the law is a bit weak and the extent of money laundering and terrorism financing was not that much earlier,” he said.

The Finance Minister was talking to reporters at the Finance Division after chairing a national coordination committee meeting on money laundering. Answering a question, Kamal said money laundering usually takes place from two sectors — banking and revenue — and apart from these two sides, there is no such scope for any wholesale money laundering.

He said that the government would go for large scale scanning of consignments for checking over invoicing and under invoicing of goods to check money laundering. Mentioning that Pre Shipment Inspection (PSI) system was in place earlier to check over pricing and under pricing of goods, Kamal said like the PSI system, a separate cell would be set up at the NBR which would report regularly on the commodity prices after checking those from the internet.

If there is any mismatch with the declaration, the consignments would be confiscated, punitive and even legal steps would be taken against the culprits.
Replying to a question, the Finance Minister said the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) would look for suspicious transactions and if found, they would report to the concerned authority since they do not have any authority to take action.

He told another questioner that there are some foreign companies working in the country from which the government does not get any such revenue.
Kamal said the foreign companies would not be able to work on their own as they would have to jointly work through partnering with others so that the government gets due revenue.

The Finance Minister said the day’s meeting highlighted on a specific area which was to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing. “Our Prime Minister has already showed zero tolerance against terrorism… So, our stance is ‘no’ against money laundering and terrorism financing,” he added.
Mentioning that the government is not against anyone, Kamal said, “But, we don’t want that anyone is spared after causing harm to the country and its people. Our stance is very clear in this regard.”

The Finance Minister said everyone would be able to do their honest businesses from their respective positions, but none would be allowed to resort to money laundering and terrorist financing. He also informed that this national committee to check money laundering would meet four times a year instead of three times.