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The Financial Express

High Court seeks help from all to end graft, money laundering

| Updated: December 06, 2021 16:02:21


- FE file photo - FE file photo

The High Court (HC) on Sunday emphasised the need for co-operation from all in order to eradicate corruption and money laundering from Bangladesh.

The court also observed that it is not possible for one institution to remove corruption from the country. Judges, lawyers, journalists, politicians and civil society members should work in unison to make Bangladesh a corruption-free country.

It is the duty of the government service holders to protect the public properties and the Constitution has determined their functions, added the HC.

The HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice AKM Zahirul Huq made the observations during the hearing on separate rules issued over taking action against the Bangladeshi nationals who purchased homes and properties in foreign countries through money laundering.

Earlier on the day the Anti-Corruption Commis-sion (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.

Paradise papers-named individuals are--- Abdul Awal Mintu, Nasreen Fatema Awal, Tabith Awal, Tafsir Awal, Tazwar Md Awal, Moghol Farida, Shahid Ullah, Chowdhury Faisal, Ahmad Samir, Brother and Partners Asset Management Bangladesh ltd.

The list also included the names of Musa Bin Shamser, Fazle Elahi, KH Asadul Islam, Zulfiqure Ahmed, Tajul Islam Tajul, Mohammad Malek, Shahnaz Huda Razzak, Imran Rahman, Mohammad A Awal, Eric Jonson Andres Wilson.

It also included the names of Farhan Yakubur Rahman, Tajul Islam, Aman Ullah Chagla, Mohammad Atikuzzaman, Mohammad Rezaul Haque, Mohammad Kamal Bhuiyan, Mastaba Rahman, Farooq Palwan and Mahmud Hossain.

Panama papers-named individuals are--- Faisal Ahmed Chowdhury, Umme Rubana, Mahtab Uddin Chowdhury, Ajmat Moin, Salma Haque, SM Jobaidul Haque, Dr Syed Sirajul Haque and Dilip Kumar Modi.

The list also included the names of Sharif Zahir, Tariq Ikramul Haque, Hasan Mahmud Raza, Khandaker Mainul Ahsan Shamim, Ahmed Ismail Hossain and Akhter Mahmud.

The ACC said in its report that they sought detailed information from the Bangladesh Financial Intelligent Unit (BFIU), National Board of Revenue (NBR) and Foreign Ministry, but the organisations were yet to provide any information. The court fixed today (Monday) for further hearing on the issue.

Following a writ petition, the HC on February 28 this year wanted to know the names of the Bangladeshi nationals who deposited money in the banks of Switzerland (Swiss banks) and what steps were taken to bring back that money.

The HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Mohi Uddin Shamim passed the order after holding hearing on a petition filed in this regard.

The court also issued a ruling over the issue asking the respondents to explain as to why their failure and inaction to arrange for recovery of large amount of money laundered by Bangladeshi citizens or companies and deposited in foreign banks, particularly in Swiss banks, should not be declared illegal. In the ruling the court also wanted to know from the respondents as to why a directive should not be given to initiate immediate probe on Bangladeshi companies and citizens disclosed in the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers leaks and to report compliance of the progress before the court in every month.

Finance, PMO, foreign, home and law secretaries, ACC, Bangladesh Bank governor and IGP and other respondents have been asked to comply with the order within four weeks.

Supreme Court lawyers Abdul Kaium Khan and Subir Nandi Das filed the petition, as a public interest litigation, with the HC on February 1 this year seeking its directive upon the respondents to take appropriate steps for bringing back the laundered money from foreign banks, including the Swiss banks.

The court also issued a Suo Moto (voluntary) rule in this regard and held joint hearing over the rulings.

Lawyer Subir Nandi Das appeared in the hearing on behalf of the petitioners while Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan appeared on behalf of the ACC and Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin Manik represented the state.

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