Initial information shows government officials outnumber politicians in the illegal activity
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday said he was surprised to learn the number of government officials had siphoned off money from Bangladesh to Toronto, Canada, outnumbering politicians.
"It was an initial information. We have to verify it," he told reporters, referring to information they had about 28 cases.
Of the 28 cases, only four are against politicians, while the rest are against government officials, including a few businesspeople.
"I thought that the number of politicians would be higher. I was surprised [to see the number of government officials], though the information is not comprehensive...," the foreign minister said.
He further said many government officials have houses in Toronto and their children are studying there.
The foreign minister said some of them siphoned off money to Malaysia as well.
"It is difficult to get information," Dr Momen said, adding that what they saw in media reports on thousands of crores of money being shipped off were not fully true, considering the figure.
He said foreign countries are also responsible to some extent in this regard, mentioning that Switzerland does not give them information on who is depositing money in their banks.
Dr Momen said they talk about transparency, but they do not provide information, if sought. "Double standards exist there."
The foreign minister said it was fine if anybody took money legally abroad, but the government can bring it back under law if they send it illegally. "It is long been happening."
Dr Momen urged those who took the money abroad to invest it in Bangladesh.