Money Laundering: Won't let anyone off the hook
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in parliament yesterday mentioned names of some politicians and businessmen, including Khaleda Zia’s two sons, who were allegedly involved in money laundering.
Responding to a lawmaker’s query, she also presented a list of 50 people whose names she claimed were cited in the Paradise Papers, a massive leak of financial documents.
Among the 50 are Awami League Presidium Member Kazi Zafrullah and his wife.
The PM pledged to bring the corrupt to book for looting and laundering public money.
“I want to say clearly that nobody will not be allowed to siphon off the country’s assets anymore,” Hasina said while responding to a question from Fazilatun Nasa Bappy.
“Following investigation, legal actions will be taken against those involved in such crimes. Necessary measures will be taken to bring back people’s money,” she told the House, with Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.
The Paradise Papers last year revealed the offshore interests of hundreds of high-profile companies and individuals from across the world. Nearly 100 media groups have been investigating the documents.
About the alleged corruption of Khaleda Zia, the premier said the BNP chief has been “placed in the third position among the most corrupted people”. She, however, did not elaborate on the issue.
She said such information was revealed in various media outlets across the world. “Khaleda Zia didn’t protest against any news.”
The premier also attached 153-pages to the scripted answer, which included newspaper clippings, as evidence of committing corruption by Khaleda Zia, her sons Tarique Rahman and late Arafat Rahman Koko.
About corruption and money laundering by the two brothers, she said they “laundered $750 million to Belgium and $250 million to Malaysia”.
They have houses in Dubai worth several million dollars and also own markets and other assets in Saudi Arabia, the leader of the House claimed.
“Tarique Rahman has laundered a huge amount of money abroad. Tarique and his business partner Giasuddin Al Mamun laundered around Tk 21 crore to CTNA Bank in Singapore in exchange of awarding a work order to a foreign company.”
The premier also said information on money laundering by Khaleda’s sons was also available, which was under investigation.
Raising the question, Bappy earlier said the premier is one of the best, honest and active heads of the government in the world.
The lawmaker asked the premier whether the government would take any measure to bring back laundered money and bring the criminals to book.
NAMES IN PARADISE PAPERS
According to the prime minister, the Paradise Papers named Abdul Awal Mintoo, Nasreen Fatema Awal, Tabith Awal, Tafsir Mohammad Awal, Kafil HS Mueed, Mehbub Chowdhury, Yusuf Raihan Reza, Eshrak Ahmed, Novera Chowdhury, Farhad Goni Mohammad, Bilkis Fatema Jesmin, Rozer Berg, Abul Bashar, Zain Umar, Benzir Ahmed, Mokmedul Islam, Motazzarul Islam, Afzalur Rahman, Sudhir Mallick, Jiban Kumar Sarker, Nizam M Selim, M Selimuzzman, Syed Sirajul Haque, FM Zobaidul Haque, Salma Haque, Kazi Jafarullah, Nilofar Jafarullah, Kazi Raihan Jafar, Aminul Haque, Najim Asadul Haque, Tarik Ekramul Haque, Capt M A Zaul, Shahed Masud, Khawza Shahadat Ullah, Dilip Kumar Modi, Syed Samina Mirza, Faisal Kareem Khan, Julfikar Haider, Umme Rubana, Ajmat Moyeen, Nazrul Islam, Jahidul Islam, Jafar Umid Khan, Asma Monen, ASM Mahiuddin Monem, AFM Rahmatul Bari, Mahtab Uddin Chowdhury, Faisal Chowdhury and Ahmed Samir. It also cited the name of Bangla Track Limited, a Bangladeshi organisation.
The premier also said three financial institutions had also been linked to the siphoning off money. They are Swayne Investments Ltd, Seven Seas Assets Ltd and NFM Energy Limited.
She mentioned the names of two agents — Brummer & Partners Asset Management (Bangladesh) Limited and Mossak Fonseca & Co, (Singapore), Pte Ltd.
The brokerage houses are Mayhill Holdings Inc, Golden Progress Inc, Candia Investments Ltd, Ellie Consultants Inc, Evarts Enterprises Inc, Winchester Finance Ltd, Chin Chieh Shpping S.A, Budisukma Inc, Eddington Worldwide Ltd, Emerald International Inc, Ballen Limited, Nature Craft Ltd, Oracle Holding Ltd, Astron Equities SA, Carmine Investments Ltd, Bluemountain Limited, Concord Eagle Investment Ltd, Ming Li Enterprise Limited, Harnard International Inc and Vietmy (International) Ltd.