Panama, Paradise Papers: Give details of Bangladeshis mentioned
The High Court yesterday directed the Criminal Investigation Department and the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit to submit by January 9 next year the details of Bangladeshi nationals or entities whose names appeared in the Panama and Paradise papers.
Some 32 individuals and two corporations were named in 2016's Panama Papers and at least 23 names came out in the following year's Paradise Papers.
The directive came after a hearing on two separate rules issued over taking actions against the Bangladeshi nationals who purchased properties abroad through laundered money.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) was asked by the court to furnish a report on the matter but it failed due to the non-cooperation of the BFIU and home and foreign ministries and its limited jurisdiction, its lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan told the court.
"We want to see what action has been taken against the persons whose names have been disclosed in the Panama Papers. If you are unable to, admit it -- we cannot sit idle folding our hands. We must do something," the HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice AKM Zahirul Huq told Khan at the hearing.
In response, Khan sought information from the BFIU and the two ministries.
This prompted the court to ask the BFIU and the CID to give details of the steps taken to bring back the laundered money and against those named in the leaked offshore documents.
The two government agencies were also asked why they have failed to provide information and documents about money launderers to the ACC.
"The corrupt people must be brought to the book," Talukder said.
Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin Manik told the court that the ACC takes action against petty corruption but not against big corruption.
In response, Khan said the ACC takes action against any instance of corruption when it gets information and documents.
For instance, a former prime minister and a former chief justice have been convicted and sentenced to imprisonments in corruption cases filed by the commission, he said.
Earlier on Sunday, the ACC had furnished a compliance report to the HC bench containing the names of 43 individuals reportedly published in the Paradise Papers and the Panama Papers as money launderers in 2016 and 2017.
Meanwhile, the same bench yesterday said the black hand of corruption must be broken.
"This court is very much tough against corruption. There is no scope to consider any corruption from lenient view," it said during the hearing of a bail petition filed by Refatul Huq, a suspended official of Dhaka Bank's Bangshal Branch in Dhaka, in a case filed on charge of about Tk 4 crore missing from the branch's vault.
The court rejected the bail petition.