a year ago

Bangladeshis' unreported offshore wealth faces freeze

Taskforce approves guidelines on laundered wealth recovery with this provision

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Process gets going to freeze or confiscate unreported offshore wealth of Bangladeshi nationals with help of the governments of the countries where the assets were found as guidelines get approval.

Officials said the National Coordination Committee on Anti-money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) in a meeting Tuesday approved the guidelines on legal framework and strategic process for laundered-asset recovery.

The move gets momentum as the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit's (BFIU) is scheduled to submit a report on government efforts to recover laundered assets and prevent money laundering to the High Court in February next.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal chaired the virtually held meeting attended by committee members from different ministries and state agencies, including Bangladesh Bank and BFIU.

"In this regard, the government will have to send a request from a court to a foreign court for judicial assistance over there through the BFIU to prevent transfer of the laundered assets to another country," the guidebook reads.

Later, Bangladeshi agencies will investigate jointly with the agencies of the countries concerned and take initiatives for repatriation of the assets.

According to the guidelines the government will have the option to confiscate the laundered assets before a launderer gets convicted by a court.

A joint investigation team comprising all investigating and enforcing agencies concerned will also be formed to facilitate bringing back laundered assets.

Moreover, the government will seek assistance from the International Centre for Asset Recovery, the Star Protection Agency and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to get cooperation of the countries where money is shifted.

Also the government will sign Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) treaties with countries where assets from Bangladesh are increasingly shifted. By signing MLA treaties the government will have the opportunity to obtain information on laundered money from the countries concerned.

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