Bangladesh to firm up money laundering laws

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

DHAKA - Bangladesh will enact two legislation to firm up its laws against money laundering to fight the flow of funds used for terrorism, Finance Minister A.M.A. Muhith has said.

Muhith said that amendments to the existing laws were imperative to let the global organisations know that Dhaka was right on track to prevent money laundering and terror financing.

Two bills would be placed in the next session of parliament seeking amendments to the laws, New Age quoted him as saying Wednesday.

The minister said that money laundering had become an international political issue as the smuggled money was used in terror financing.

Muhith Wednesday chaired a meeting of the national coordination council to review the overall progress in drafting the amendments.

His assurance follows warnings from international agencies fighting money laundering, which say Bangladesh’s laws to combat the growing money laundering and terror financing are “unsatisfactory”, the newspaper said.

Bangladesh is trailing where India and Pakistan have enacted the necessary laws, the paper said quoting Bangladesh finance ministry officials.

If Dhaka does not firm up the relevant laws and their enforcement, it could be included in the group of “ill-prepared countries”, the officials said.

The Asia Pacific Group (APG) which works for prevention of money laundering conveyed the message when a delegation of the group visited Dhaka last month.

The Financial Action Task Force, an inter-governmental group formed in 1990s, has also found that Bangladesh was still non-compliant with international standards in several areas related to money laundering.

These organisations have been expressing such concern for over last one year, the officials said.

The Bangkok-based APG in its annual report released last year stated that Bangladesh’s preparations for combating money laundering were “unsatisfactory”.

The group is scheduled to review Bangladesh’s progress in this regard in October. It is very crucial. Dhaka should not miss the chance to improve its position by amending the anti-money laundering act 2009 and anti-terrorism act 2009, the APG team told officials here.

Along with Bangladesh, preparations of Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam would be reviewed by the APG. India, Pakistan and Austria have already come out of the review by fulfilling the criteria.

Filed under: Terrorism

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