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Dhaka Tribune

Anti-money laundering ordinance approved

Update : 05 Oct 2015, 07:55 PM

The cabinet gave its consent to the Money Laundering Prevention (Amendment) Ordinance yesterday at its weekly meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

The approval came ahead of the scheduled visit of an evaluation team of the Asia Pacific Group on money laundering.

Earlier on August 17, the cabinet approved amendments brought to Bangladesh’s anti-money laundering law.

As Parliament was not in session and there was also an urgency in enacting the law, the cabinet gave the approval to the ordinance,  Cabinet Secretary Muhammad Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan told journalists after the meeting.

The evaluation team, comprising anti-money laundering experts of APG, is due on next Monday and will stay until October 22.

Bank Division sources said there were fears that the evaluation by the APG team could place Bangladesh further in the “grey list” of Financial Action Task Force after recent official warnings issued by a number of western countries that militants might attack their citizens and interests in Bangladesh.

Regarding the amendments, Bhuiyan said the existing law designates the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) as the only agency capable of prosecuting offenders accused of money laundering.

But after the amendment, he said, the ACC will only prosecute offenders accused of corruption and money laundering, and other forms of money laundering offences will be dealt with by other agencies like police, National Board of Revenue or the drug-enforcing agencies.

Changes in the ACC Act to relieve the anti-graft watchdog of much work pressure were approved by the cabinet on August 17.

The amendment to the existing law will now make it possible for several agencies to jointly investigate cases of money laundering.

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