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9 December, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 9 December, 2019 01:50:00 AM
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money laundering

ACC wants power to file money laundering cases

‘Now the power of filing cases lies with NBR, BB, and CID’
STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Iqbal Mahmood has said the commission should be given the power to file money laundering cases to bring culprits to book. At present, only the National Revenue Board (NBR), Bangladesh Bank (BB), and CID have the authority to file money laundering cases. He was responding to reporters’ queries yesterday at a meet-the-press programme, organised by Reporters Against Corruption (RAC), at the ACC head office. Iqbal Mahmood has said the ACC is 100 per cent successful regarding the filing and disposal of money laundering cases. “The commission had filed 34 cases regarding money laundering, and the court delivered the verdict in favour of the commission in all those cases,” he explained.  

According to sources, lower courts did not conduct the trial proceeding of 302 cases following the stay order of the Appellate Division and the High Court Division. “A total of 511 cases are now pending before the High Court (HC) for disposal. Among them, the Supreme Court (SC) in 2018 disposed of 112 cases. The commission won legal battle in 60 cases, while it lost in 52 cases,” the ACC chief said.  He also said the commission could not file the cases under the Money Laundering Act due to the amendment of the concerned law in 2015.  “Now, the power of filing money laundering cases lies with the NBR, BB, and CID. This power should be given to the commission,” he claimed. “We are now observing that trade-based money laundering is taking place quite frequently. If any authority does not file

    money laundering cases over trade-based laundering, we’ll take up the matter,” he said.

“If somebody fails to act, we’ll hunt them out. After all, we are very serious about bringing the corrupt people to book,” he added.

The ACC chief also pointed out that if anyone is under the commission’s scanner, there is no way for that person to get out of its net. “A total of 187 people are now under the ACC scanner. We’re investigating about their alleged involvement in corruption over amassing wealth beyond their known sources of income. No corrupt people can escape from the ACC net,” he said.

The ACC chief also urged everyone to come forward to assist the commission in its fight against corruption. “Corruption cannot be eradicated from society without everyone’s help,” he said. Recently, barrister Fazle Noor Taposh, a lawmaker, had asked the ACC chairman to resign for his failure to include the name of Abdul Hye Bacchu in the first information report (FIR) of the cases filed over the Basic Bank scam.

When asked about the demand, Iqbal Mahmood said: “The commission doesn’t bother about his prayer to include the name of someone in the cases. Everyone seeks my resignation. But I just don’t care. After completion of the investigation, the ACC will include the name of someone or remove someone’s name on the basis of evidence.”  He, however, did not give any timeframe over the submission of charge-sheets

 regarding the 56 cases filed over the Basic Bank scam.

He said the commission had sent letters to some people abroad, including Malaysia and Australia, over the matter. After getting response from them, the ACC will submit charge- sheets in the cases, he added.

In response to another query, Mahmood said apart from telephonic allegations, the commission received a total of 22,236 complaints by November this year through emails, Facebook, and letters. Among them, more than 3,000 complaints are now under investigation, he added.

Replying to another question, the ACC chief said it would not interfere in the case of soaring onion prices. “The commission is keeping an eye on the import cost and market price. If the custom intelligence authority gives any information regarding malpractice, we’ll definitely take action against the offenders,” he added.

He said the commission is working to digitise the commission. “The ACC is now keeping all complaints on the commission’s website and gradually all activities will be brought under the digital system,” he added.

Replying to another question, the commission chief said he does not want to keep the commission as he believes that the people would not commit corruption and the necessity of the commission would expire.

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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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