Foreign banks reluctant to disclose syphoned money: FM

Dhaka, April 19 – Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen yesterday said the banks of developed countries don’t want to disclose the information regarding the syphoning off the money by Bangladeshi nationals.
He said his ministry would follow the directives of the law ministry regarding what can be done about freezing the bank accounts of Tarique Rahman and his wife Dr Zubaida Rahman with a UK bank.
“I have come to know this information this morning through media. Our law minister will be able to provide more information about it. We will work according to the directives,” he said.
The foreign minister in reply to a query of the journalists came up with the remarks after hailing from a programme of the 23rd Annual District Convention 2019 of Lions Clubs International, District 315 B3 at a
city hotel.
In reply to a query of how a Bangladeshi court’s order can be implemented in another country, Momen said, “Every developed country in the world wants the implementation of their respective court’s orders.
We also want the enforcement of our court’s orders. Most of the cases our orders are not enforced. Here we have some weaknesses because some developed countries that give emphasis on the rule of law but they don’t assist us in this regard in the enforcement of the rule of law.”
“Say, some of the self-confessed killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman are hiding in many countries including developed ones. But they don’t approach in this regard. It’s a kind of double- standard,” he continued.
“Recently we have requested the developed countries where the Bangabandhu killers are hiding to extradite the killers before the centenary birth anniversary of Bangabandhu. We want to bring all such convicted persons to home to enforce the verdict. We are hopeful of it,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, a Dhaka court on Thursday ordered freezing three bank accounts of Tarique Rahman and his wife with a Standard Bank UK. The order came following a permission case filed by the Anti-Corruption
As per the permission case, the ACC had formed an inquiry committee while investigating Tarique’s investment aboard after syphoning off money. The transfer of 59341.93 Pounds from White and Blue Consultant Limited to three accounts of Tarique and Zubaida remained halted at the order of Financial Intelligent Unit, UK.
Asked about bringing back the syphoning off money, Momen said, “There are also wicked persons abroad. The rich countries put much pressure on us to stop money laundering. But it is regrettable that our money launderers keep money in the bank accounts of these rich countries.
They don’t want to disclose this information. Say the Swiss Bank, the rich countries say us to stop money laundering but on the other side, they create such scope. We hope they will help us here in the future.”
In another question whether the alleged syphoning off money has been transferred to the bank accounts of Tarique Zia from Bangladesh, the minister said, “We don’t know about it. We have to know about it. As he (Tarique) does not earn anything in abroad, how it will be deposited there?”
In the programme, the foreign minister urged the Lions Clubs International to come forward to assist the people and to work with the government in various fields like health.
The minister also proposed to the Lions Clubs International to launch a campaign for humanity across the globe by their over 46,000 clubs worldwide to redress conflicts in the worlds.
“Bangladesh is a role model of humanity. Bangladesh can take a lead to start a campaign for humanity. The world is facing conflicts because of a mindset of intolerance. All our development will be spoiled, if
we fail to stop war and conflicts,” he added.
Among others, Qazi Akramuddin Ahmed, international director of Lions Clubs International and also chairman of Standard Bank Limited, Sheikh Kabir Hossain, international director of Lions Clubs International and Mohammad Ershad Hussain, district governor of Lions Clubs International, were present. – Staff Reporter