Giving embezzlers scope to bring laundered money back to the country as remittances, and legalising unreported assets outside the country of Bangladeshi citizens, unquestioned, is not only unethical and contrary to the government's policy of "zero tolerance" of corruption, but also unconstitutional, says Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB).
The government has announced it will provide scope for laundered money to be brought back to the country as remittances to tackle the current dollar foreign exchange crisis. The money launderers will get a 2.5% incentive against money sent back to the country as remittances.
The finance ministe recently gave a hint of offering Bangladeshis scope for legalising their unreported assets outside the country without having to face any questions in the next fiscal year.
TIB has expressed concern that these initiatives to provide rewards instead of punishment for these heinous crimes under national and international law amount to state sponsorship of money laundering and corrupt people.
In a press release issued yesterday, TIB demanded the cancellation of these unethical and illegal opportunities and called for effective measures to prevent money laundering through enforcement of existing national and international laws.
The civil society organisation also urged concerned authorities to take meaningful initiatives to bring the laundered money back to the country, identifying money launderers.
"In the face of global economic instability, the country is using the foreign exchange crisis to provide unethical, corrupt, and discriminatory opportunities to money launderers, which is tantamount to disregarding the Money Laundering Prevention Act 2012," said TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman in a statement yesterday.
Expressing concern about the future of ongoing cases for the laundering of thousands of crores of taka, the TIB executive director asked, "If the accused in money laundering cases want to avail this opportunity, will they not have to suffer any punishment? Will the government walk the path of compromise instead of the rule of law? A clear understanding of these issues is important."