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Bank & Finance - August 14, 2022

BB sought illegal money info from Swiss banks

Staff Correspondent: Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) repeatedly sought information from different countries including Switzerland about money laundered by Bangladeshis, said Bangladesh Bank (BB).
In response to a query yesterday regarding the recent statement of the Swiss Ambassador, Md Serajul Islam, executive director and spokesperson of BB, said, “I have nothing to say anything about the statement of the Swiss Ambassador. But the BFIU repeatedly sought information from different countries on various issues, including illegal money transactions from Bangladesh.”
All kinds of initiatives were taken to collect information about money laundering from the country, he said adding that the BFIU, the country’s financial intelligence agency, has also sent several letters to the Swiss banks.
Sirajul Islam said, “Whenever we need to collect information, the BFIU collects information from everywhere as the BFIU is a member of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), an international network of FIUs.”
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Thursday said Bangladesh sought information on the deposits of Bangladeshi money in the Swiss banks but the Swiss side did not respond to the query.
Momen said this after his conversation on the issue with Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder and Finance Secretary Fatima Yasmin on Thursday.
The foreign minister said he advised the governor and the finance ministry to come up with the statements as confusion arose following some media reports quoting Ambassador of Switzerland to Bangladesh Nathalie Chuard.
Momen said it is not true that Bangladesh did not seek information from Switzerland.
The Swiss envoy at the DCAB Talk on Wednesday said any estimate on deposits of Bangladeshi money in the Swiss banks is “purely speculative” and no conclusion can be drawn on the basis of media and other reports.
Responding to a question on information exchange on the issue, she said Switzerland is really committed to implementing international standards. In accordance with these international standards they can have some specific regulations and agreements also with the country to exchange this type of information, she said.
“So that is something should be developed,” said the ambassador, adding that they have been providing to the government all the information regarding how to reach an agreement on these matters but no request has been submitted regarding any particular funding.

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