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ACC lists 68 persons, entities named in Paradise, Panama Papers

FE REPORT | Friday, 28 January 2022


The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has compiled a list of 61 Bangladeshi individuals and seven entities, published in the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers leak for their involvement in money laundering (ML). However, none of the listed individuals is public servant.

In response to an order of the High Court (HC), the ACC prepared the list on the basis of media reports and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) website, said a report - submitted in the HC on Thursday.

The ACC, however, opined that it cannot proceed with investigation process against the individuals and entities, whose names came into the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers leak as money launderers, without their full name and address, proper information of offshore investment, and relevant other records of the investment.

The ACC said, "An investigation process cannot be conducted with the list of 61 individuals and eight organisations, found in the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers leak as money launderers. In this case, it is not possible to proceed with the investigation process without their full name and address, proper information of offshore investment, and relevant other records of the investment."

On Wednesday, the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) submitted a list in the HC, compiling 69 individuals and entities, whose names came in the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers leak as money launderer.

The BFIU received responses from the Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) of different other countries about only 10 individuals and entities among the 69.

Following a writ petition, the HC bench, headed by Md Nazrul Islam Talukder, on February 28 last 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, and issued a rule.

It also asked the respondents to explain as to why a directive should not be given to initiate immediate probe against the Bangladeshi companies and citizens, whose names were disclosed in the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers leak, and to submit a compliance report of the progress before the court every month.

In response to the order, the ACC submitted a report in the court on December 5, 2021. In the report, the ACC listed 29 individuals and entities, whose names came in the Paradise Papers, and 14 other individuals and entities, whose names came in the Panama Papers.

Upon hearing the ACC report, the court, on December 6, directed the BFIU and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Police to submit separate reports in the court over their steps taken against the persons and entities, whose names came in the Paradise Papers and Panama Papers leak.

Lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan, who appeared in the hearing on behalf of the ACC, said the report - submitted earlier by the ACC - was incomplete. That was why they submitted the supplementary report to the court, which may hear the matter on Sunday.

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