'The delegations also discussed bilateral matters, aiming to develop a mutual relationship'
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has sought information from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and asked them to return the wealth of Bangladeshis who have invested in the real estate sector and other businesses in Australia.
ACC chairman Iqbal Mahmud sought cooperation during a meeting between a high-level delegation led by ACC chairman and teams from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity in Abu Dhabi yesterday.
The commission's Deputy Director (media) Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune.
"The delegations also discussed bilateral matters, aiming to develop a mutual relationship," he added.
In the meeting with the Australian delegation, the ACC Chairman said: “We have information that some corrupt Bangladeshis have fled to Australia" and added that "these corrupt individuals are investing in real estate and other businesses in Australia with illicit money."
Furthermore, the chairman sought the sincere cooperation of Australia to bring them back to Bangladesh and recover the smuggled money.
Stephen McElhinney, of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Creig Ferri, executive director of the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, were present at the meeting.
The move came as part of the ongoing anti-corruption campaign, which saw the rounding up of several people involved in the illegal casino business in Bangladesh.
Moreover, ACC Chairman Iqbal Mahmud said that corruption is a serious problem. "Another major problem for countries like Bangladesh is that corrupt people are involved in laundering money which has been earned through corruption. Therefore, a comprehensive initiative is required to control corruption," he added.
He also said that Bangladesh has sought information from several other countries under the Mutual Legal Assistance Request in various corruption cases, especially cases of money laundering.
"If we can ensure punishment of the criminals, the rate of the money laundering will be reduced. Besides, criminals will also lose the courage to launder money," he commented.
The ACC chairman also expressed his hope that all kinds of corruption, including money laundering, will be reduced in countries like Bangladesh if they receive cooperation from relevant countries.
Highlighting the various activities of the Anti-Corruption Commission of Bangladesh, the chairman said: "We are conducting these activities keeping our future generations in mind. We want to instill ethical values in future generations, and the ACC is working on it."
During the bilateral talks, ACC Secretary Muhammad Dilwar Bakht and other members of the Bangladesh delegation were present along with the ACC Chairman.