Commission to begin investigation proper after government provides list
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has asked the government for details of houses owned by public servants in Begum Para of Toronto, Canada, ACC Secretary Dilwar Bakht has said.
He made the remark while addressing reporters at the national anticorruption watchdog's office on Monday, reports UNB.
Dilwar said: "We are investigating the issue of 28 houses owned by government officials in Begum Para and have asked the government for a list. We will start working on it when the list is available."
The money laundering issue came to the forefront once again after Foreign Minister Momen admitted that the government has evidence of money laundering in Canada by Bangladeshis.
Talking to reporters during an event in Dhaka last Wednesday, he said they have found some initial evidence after checks in Canada.
“I thought there would be more politicians. But most of them are government officials. There are some businessmen, especially apparel exporters, as well,” said the minister.
In an interview with a national daily the next day, Momen said that unofficial and unverified information showed that most houses in Toronto’s “Begum Para” were bought by government officials as opposed to the popular belief that it was mainly politicians.
“We were surprised. We had thought that politicians may have purchased these houses. But we have information that most of the houses there have been bought by government officials. Some are retired Bangladeshi government officials, while others are serving officials…
“This is interesting. Normally, we think government officials are not so financially solvent. So, how could they buy houses in Canada? We don't know how it is possible,” he told the newspaper.
A Global Financial Integrity (GFI) report in March had said that Bangladesh lost $7.53 billion a year between 2008 and 2017 in capital flight, which mostly happened through trade misinvoicing.
According to the Swiss National Bank’s annual report released in June, deposits by Bangladeshi citizens in Swiss banks stood at 603.02 million Swiss francs.