Maximum over-invoicing takes place through tax-free products and it is eventually paving the way for money laundering from the country, said Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) Chairman Professor Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam.
"The Bangladesh Bank should keep watch on the money laundering through tax-free products," he said at a lecture session on the "Bangladesh in the context of the current global economy" organised by the Bangladesh Academy for Securities Market (BASM) on Sunday.
The BSEC chairman said citing an example that money launderers are syphoning the country's money abroad by showing the value of a $5 product as $7.
They have set up offices in Bangladesh as well as Hong Kong, Singapore, London and New York. They have kept their children abroad. With the laundered money, they are buying houses and cars in those countries, he also said.
"If we can catch hundi traders, a lot of dollars will be saved. Because they are the ones who op
en over voice-under voice LCs during import-export and thus launder money abroad," he added.
Regarding linking Bangladesh with the Sri Lanka issue, the BSEC chairman said many people spoke without understanding the economy. That's when the matter becomes harmful.
He said Lebanon has gone bankrupt before Sri Lanka. They have not been able to repay loans for a long time. There is no power plant in that country. But no one said that.
"Suddenly everyone remembered Sri Lanka. Then they started spreading all kinds of rumours. We lent $250 million to Sri Lanka. The one who helped is becoming like Sri Lanka. Is it?" he posed a question.
Professor Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam said Sri Lanka was in trouble worth $2 billion.
"And we get $2 billion a month from just one sector. But a section of people has made the country unstable by comparing it with that. It's not understandable to me," he added.
BSEC Commissioner Dr Shaikh Shamsuddin Ahmed said prices of various commodities, including fuel, have gone up worldwide due to various reasons such as Covid-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war.
"There are rumours or misinterpretations about it. We need to control these rumours and misinterpretations and prevent misinterpretation of information," he added.
He said Bangladesh's capital market can give some relief to the country from various losses including the Ukraine war. The capital market can play a role in the country's economy.
Also, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) Chairman Dr Kazi Khaliquzzaman and BASM Director-General Dr Toufic Ahmad Choudhury spoke at the programme.