Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in parliament yesterday mentioned names of some politicians and businessmen, including Khaleda Zia's two sons, who she said were involved in money laundering.
Responding to a lawmaker's query during the prime minister's question-answer session, she also presented a list of 50 people, whose names she claimed were cited in the Paradise Papers, a massive leak of financial documents.
Among the 50 are Awami League Presidium Member Kazi Zafrullah and his wife.
The PM pledged to bring the corrupt to book for looting and laundering public money.
“I want to clearly say that nobody will be allowed to siphon off the country's assets anymore,” Hasina said while responding to a question from Fazilatun Nasa Bappy, an Awami League lawmaker from a reserved seat.
“Following investigation, legal actions will be taken against those involved in such crimes. Necessary measures will be taken to bring back people's money,” she told the House, with Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.
The Paradise Papers last year revealed the offshore interests of hundreds of high-profile companies and individuals from across the world. Nearly 100 media groups have been investigating the documents.
About the alleged corruption of Khaleda Zia, the premier said according to news reports run by different media, the BNP chief has been “ranked third among the world's most corrupt people”. She said Khaleda didn't protest any of the reports.
Hasina, however, did not elaborate on the issue.
She also attached 152-pages to the scripted answer, which included newspaper clippings and hyperlinks of social media website pages, as evidence of corruption allegedly committed by Khaleda, her sons Tarique Rahman and late Arafat Rahman Koko.
About the alleged corruption and money laundering by the two brothers, she said they “laundered $750 million to Belgium and $250 million to Malaysia”.
They have houses in Dubai worth several million US dollars and also markets and other assets in Saudi Arabia, the leader of the House claimed.
“Tarique Rahman has laundered a huge amount of money abroad. Tarique and his business partner Giasuddin Al Mamun laundered around Tk 21 crore to CTNA Bank in Singapore in exchange for awarding a work order to a foreign company.”
Information on money laundering by Khaleda's sons was also available, which was under investigation, she added.
NAMES IN PARADISE PAPERS
According to the prime minister, the Paradise Papers named Abdul Awal Mintoo, Nasreen Fatema Awal, Tabith Awal, Tafsir Mohammad Awal, Kafil HS Mueed, Mehbub Chowdhury, Yusuf Raihan Reza, Eshrak Ahmed, Novera Chowdhury, Farhad Goni Mohammad, Bilkis Fatema Jesmin, Rozer Berg, Abul Bashar, Zain Umar, Benzir Ahmed, Mokmedul Islam, Motazzarul Islam, Afzalur Rahman, Sudhir Mallick, Jiban Kumar Sarker, Nizam M Selim, M Selimuzzman, Syed Sirajul Haque, FM Zobaidul Haque, Salma Haque, Kazi Jafarullah, Nilofar Jafarullah, Kazi Raihan Jafar, Aminul Haque, Najim Asadul Haque, Tarik Ekramul Haque, Capt M A Zaul, Shahed Masud, Khawza Shahadat Ullah, Dilip Kumar Modi, Syed Samina Mirza, Faisal Kareem Khan, Julfikar Haider, Umme Rubana, Ajmat Moyeen, Nazrul Islam, Jahidul Islam, Jafar Umid Khan, Asma Monen, ASM Mahiuddin Monem, AFM Rahmatul Bari, Mahtab Uddin Chowdhury, Faisal Chowdhury and Ahmed Samir. It also cited the name of Bangla Track Limited, a Bangladeshi organisation.
Hasina said three financial institutions -- Swayne Investments Ltd, Seven Seas Assets Ltd and NFM Energy Limited -- had played an intermediary role in laundering money abroad.
She named Brummer & Partners Asset Management (Bangladesh) Limited and Mossak Fonseca & Co, (Singapore), Pte Ltd as agents of money launderers.
Besides, Mayhill Holdings Inc, Golden Progress Inc, Candia Investments Ltd, Ellie Consultants Inc, Evarts Enterprises Inc, Winchester Finance Ltd, Chin Chieh Shpping SA, Budisukma Inc, Eddington Worldwide Ltd, Emerald International Inc, Ballen Limited, Nature Craft Ltd, Oracle Holding Ltd, Astron Equities SA, Carmine Investments Ltd, Bluemountain Limited, Concord Eagle Investment Ltd, Ming Li Enterprise Limited, Harnard International Inc and Vietmy (International) Ltd played an intermediary role in siphoning off money, she noted.
PM TERMS KHALEDA MAD
The prime minister blasted Khaleda for her remarks on the Padma bridge.
In response to a supplementary question from Bappy, Hasina said bridges like the Padma bridge are built by joining spans.
The BNP chief has asked her party leaders and activities not to use the Padma bridge, she said.
“A proverb says pagole ki na boley, chhagole ki na khai [A mad man says anything while a goat eats anything]. One should better not pay heed to someone mad.”
Speaking at a programme in the capital on January 2, Khaleda said using the Padma bridge would be risky as it was being constructed with patchworks.