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18 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 18 November, 2019 01:52:44 AM
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‘Global support key to tackle money laundering’

DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT, Dhaka
‘Global support key to tackle money laundering’

Bangladesh has sought robust cooperation and coordinated efforts of all countries to curb money laundering and terror financing as it is a global issue and no single country can deal with the phenomenon. The observations came up yesterday at a seminar on ‘National Strategy for Prevention of Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism’ organised jointly by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Financial Institutions Division (FID) of Ministry of Finance, Bangladesh Bank (BB) and Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) at a hotel in the capital. Participants at the seminar also said tackling of money laundering is becoming difficult these days as the money launderers are using sophisticated technology to siphon off money from one country to other and it becomes difficult once the money is out of the country due to weak overseas cooperation. They said such an issue cannot be tackled alone unless all countries join hands together through concerted efforts and cooperation of all concerned.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal was the chief guest while BB Governor Fazle Kabir moderated the event. State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam was present as the special guest while Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Iqbal Mahmood, UN Resident Coordinator Giorgi Gigauri, Charge d’Affaires of US Embassy JoAnne Wagner, FID Senior Secretary Asadul Islam, Deputy IGP (Inspector General of Police) Chowdhury Abdulla Al Mamun,

Chairman of National Board of Revenue (NBR) Md Mosharraf Hossain and BFIU chief Abu Hena Hohammad Razee Hassan also spoke on the occasion.

The minister said, “Money laundering is a serious problem for human civilisation. It’s not a problem for a single person.”

Terming it a threat to human existence, he said: “This problem cannot be tackled by Bangladesh alone. Even it cannot be tackled by two or three countries only. The whole world needs to be united because there is no guarantee that the remaining countries won’t be affected.  It’s time to address the issue effectively as this sort of threat should no longer exist.”

“Money laundering is the enemy of our people and the country. It’s a threat not only to economy, but also to human existence. This has to be addressed by coordinated and concerted efforts,” AHM Mustafa Kamal added. He also called for the international community to step further forward: “Let us formulate a framework and a platform to tackle money laundering and terror financing. Let us work together.”

Shahriar Alam said, “Money laundering and terror financing are global challenges. In today’s interconnected world, every country is facing these complex and multi-faceted challenges. Advancement of technology is one of the factors, which have contributed to the growth of money laundering and financing of terrorism activities.”

“Every country should identify, assess  and understand the issue of money laundering and terror financing risks and take necessary action by designating appropriate mechanism to coordinate actions for mitigating the risks effectively,” he added. He also called upon the international community by saying that international cooperation and coordination is strongly needed to strengthen money laundering and combating financing of terrorism mechanism.

Terming corruption a scourge for any society, he said, “In today’s world, corruption is furthered primarily by money laundering. We consider corruption, especially money laundering, as a major barrier to our development endeavour that aims at creating an equal society.”

About implementing the National Strategy for the 3rd time in Bangladesh, he said, this strategy is a well-articulated roadmap for implementation of action plans in an organised manner for Prevention of Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism (CFT).

“I believe, proper implementation of this strategy will strengthen our anti-money laundering (AML) and CFT Regime. It will help establish effective financial system and ensure macroeconomic stability as well as contribute to economic growth. It will increase our image in international arena and further strengthen our position in global financial platform,” he observed. Iqbal Mahmood said, “Corruption induces money laundering. Corruption is the main obstacle to our national development. We need concerted efforts to curb it.”  Quoting a statistics he said, “Between 2008-2015, a total of 222 criminals were involved in money laundering in the country. We have ended 34 cases with conviction so far.”

He also said trained manpower and sophisticated technology are needed to curb money laundering. JoAnne Wagner said, “Money laundering and terrorist financing is a pernicious crime. It’s good that Bangladesh has taken specific strategy with great seriousness to tackle the issues.”

“Inclusive engagement approach will help us achieve our agenda of anti-money laundering. We need international cooperation, cooperation among inter-governmental agencies and cooperation among regional countries to tackle it,” she added. She said the US is committed to supporting Bangladeshi efforts to tackle money laundering and terror financing.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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