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10 countries major destinations for Bangladeshi illicit money, says Govt report

  • Published at 11:58 pm November 18th, 2019
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The report says illicit outflow of funds from the country was 17.5% of the country's total trade during the 2006-2015 period

Government agencies have identified top 10 countries where tainted money is siphoned from Bangladesh.

As per a government report, the money finds safe haven in the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, the UAE, Malaysia, Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands.

The report styled "National Strategy for Prevention of Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism 2019-2021" was formally launched at a hotel in the capital on Sunday.

Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) prepared the report in association with the ministries of finance, home, commerce, foreign affairs, law justice and parliamentary affairs and office of the attorney general, Anti Corruption Commission, NGO Affairs Bureau, Bangladesh Police, National Board of Revenue and Bangladesh Bank.

The report says that investment visa, permanent residency, long-term residency, second home project and comfortable foreign exchange control regime are some of the major reasons that led many Bangladeshis to launder money to those countries.

The report says the tainted money was generated from crimes like tax evasion, trade proceeds, loan scams, smuggling, drugs, human trafficking and other underworld activities.

Besides, illegal remittance of foreign employees and untaxed and illegal transfer of remittance by foreign workers are also the sources of the illicit fund.

The report says illicit outflow of funds from the country was 17.5% of the country's total trade during the 2006-2015 period.

It says Hundi/Hawala, bulk cash smuggling and transfer pricing manipulation are used commonly in draining funds from trade based money laundering.

The Global Financial Integrity (GFI) in its report in January this year said that Bangladesh lost as much as $5.9 billion in illegal fund outflows in 2015. The figure was $8.97 billion in the previous year.

The Washington-based research and advisory organization publish the report styled “Illicit Financial Flows to and from Developing Countries: 2006-2015.”

The BFIU report says the social and economic impact of IFF on developing countries like Bangladesh is more corrosive given their smaller resource base and markets.

It says the objective of the government's national strategy for 2019-2021 period is to stem IFF by preventing the generation of proceeds of crimes restricting the channels of illicit transfer and strengthening stolen asset recovery mechanism.

The national strategy is a detailed roadmap for the implementation of action plans for a three-year period upto 2021 in compliance with the financial action task force (FATF) requirements. FATF is an intergovernmental body to combat money laundering and terrorist financing across the world.

The strategy paper highlights 11 strategies with 137 actions to strengthen anti money laundering and combating terrorist financing measures and suggested effective coordination and collective efforts of the responsible agencies.

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