Terming money laundering and terrorist financing as a big threat to the world, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Sunday said coordinated efforts of the global community are needed to prevent these menaces.
“The whole world should get united to eliminate money laundering. Trade-based money laundering is mostly committed in Bangladesh. The government is firmly committed to tackling this serious issue to save its economy,” he said.
Mustafa Kamal came up with the remarks at a seminar titled ‘National Strategy for Prevention of Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism’ at a city hotel.
The seminar was jointly arranged by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Bangladesh Bank, and Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU).
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam, who was present at the event, said money laundering and financing of terrorism are global challenges.
“These are major barriers to the progress of developing countries. The government of Bangladesh announced a ‘zero-tolerance’ policy against corruption, including money laundering. So, we need cooperation from all, including that of the international community,” he said.
Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Iqbal Mahmood said money laundering is a great threat to both the economy and society.
“The ACC has recently established an Asset Management Unit. It guides and advises the ACC investigators to identify the proceeds of crimes at an early stage and take quick actions to freeze such assets so that those are dissipated,” he said.
Chairman of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said they are playing a key role in combating money laundering, terror financing and financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
“With the ever-growing threats and vulnerabilities of illicit flow of funds, tax evasion, transfer of mispricing trade-based money laundering and gold smuggling, the NBR is making enhanced efforts to mitigate these risks,” he added.
Mosharraf Hossain said NBR always gets actively involved in the process of formulation of National Strategy for Preventing Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism.
Moderating the function, Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Fazle Kabir said money laundering is the oxygen of terrorist financing.
He said as financial crimes like money laundering, terror financing and financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are the biggest hurdles to achieve the target of having more vibrant and robust economic growth and macroeconomic stability.
Fazle Kabir said the central bank has been extending all-out support to Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) in combating these menaces. unb