There has been no visible progress on an initiative taken by the government to seize assets of convicted war criminals.
The Liberation War Affairs Ministry had begun an investigation into how this could be done according to existing laws. If needed, laws were to be amended.
There has been no progress in this regard so far.
Earlier in January 2013, the Ministry of Finance directed the Bangladesh Bank to monitor banks and financial institutions owned by the Jamaat-e-Islami and its affiliates. Most of those convicted by the War Crimes Tribunal belonged to the Jamaat-e-Islami party.
Government agencies involved in business and financial transactions were also asked to increase surveillance.
According to a letter from the finance ministry, financial institutions funded by Jamaat and its student front Shibir is a cause of concern for the government.
On November 22, 2015 the Ministry of Home Affairs sent a letter to Finance ministry’s bank and financial institutions division, where the division was directed to take action against banks, schools and financial institutions run by Jamaat-Shibir.
The interior ministry also sent a list of 561 organizations run by Jamaat-Shibir to various law enforcement agencies.
The ruling party leaders suspect that some of these institutions are funding Jamaat activities and working to harm the government’s image.
According to Bangladesh Bank sources, four intelligence agencies are involved in the investigation. A meeting was held in this regard between a six-member delegation from intelligence agencies and top Bangladesh Bank officials recently.
A high level committee was also formed to assist law enforcement agencies, intelligence agencies and departments in the government in this matter. Officials at the law, finance and liberation war affairs ministry have said that the matter is sensitive so it is being handled by government policymakers.
When contacted, senior secretary of Finance Ministry’s bank and financial institutions division Eunusur Rahman told the Bangla Tribune that he was unaware if any decision was made.
“I did not get any direction after joining this section about the initiative from the finance ministry,” He said.
This article was first published in Bangla Tribune