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Panama and Paradise papers leak

HC wants report on steps against money launderers

Published : 06 Dec 2021 10:45 PM | Updated : 07 Dec 2021 01:22 PM

The High Court on Monday (December 6) directed the government to explain what steps were taken against the people and institutions, whose names were disclosed as money launderers in the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers.

The Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police were directed to submit separate reports in this regard to the HC by January 9.

The higher court asked the BFIU and the CID to explain in the reports what action they have taken to prevent money laundering and why they have failed to provide information and documents about money launderers to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) at different times.

The HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice AKM Zahirul Huq issued the order during the hearing on two separate rules issued over taking action against the people who purchased properties abroad through money laundering.

One of the rules was issued on November 22 last year following reports published in newspapers on Bangladeshi nationals who bought prime properties abroad with laundered money.

Another rule was issued on February 28 following a writ petition filed by lawyers Abdul Qaium Khan and Subir Nandi Das on February 1.

Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan appeared for the ACC in the court, while Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin Manik represented the state.

The 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 the corruption. There is no exemption for the corrupt people.”

Abdul Qaium Khan who appeared in a 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 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.

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 HC bench passed the direction. Earlier on Sunday (December 5), the ACC submitted a report to 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.

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