More fortunes found stashed in UK, HK | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 18, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 18, 2009

More fortunes found stashed in UK, HK

Govt receives details of graft by some ex-miniters, MPs

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United Kingdom and Hong Kong have informed Bangladesh that some of its former ministers, lawmakers and businessmen and their relatives have houses and money in banks in the two countries, highly placed official sources said.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith and Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor to Salehuddin Ahmed yesterday confirmed that they got the information but refused to give details.
UK has provided specific information about the wealth of seven persons -- four former ministers, two lawmakers and a businessman. It has asked Bangladesh government to specify what kind of cooperation it wants regarding the seven persons, the sources said.
At the same time, London has sought information from Dhaka regarding two expatriate Bangladeshi businessmen in UK.
The four former ministers of BNP-Jamaat alliance include Khandeker Mosharraf Hossain.
The Daily Star recently published a report on Khandeker Mosharraf's bank deposits and wealth in UK.
A former minister bought a four lakh-pound house in London in his daughter's name. And he has three lakh pounds in his bank account in London, according the information given to Dhaka.
Hong Kong also provided Dhaka information about wealth and bank deposits of some ministers and lawmakers.
Although both UK and Hong Kong wanted to know Bangladesh government's views regarding these money and wealth, it is yet to respond.
Meanwhile, a case in connection with Siemens' bribery scandal is now under trial at US District Court for Columbia, and former prime minister Khaleda Zia's younger son Arafat Rahman Koko is involved in it.
Muhith said yesterday Bangladesh government has written a letter to US government for getting back the money.
Talking to journalists after a meeting with UN Assistant Secretary General Ajay Chhibber at his Secrtariate office, the finance minister said they are also considering writing such a letter to UK government.
He noted since there is no agreement between Bangladesh and these countries on getting back siphoned off money, the government is trying to have their cooperation in this regard.
Moreover, Salehuddin said yesterday the government has got information about laundered money from UK and Hong Kong. Both the countries provided the information voluntarily.
Following a meeting with the chief executives of financial institutions, The BB governor told reporters that Malaysia has also given some information about laundered money. He however did not give details.
He pointed out there is a condition tagged with providing such information that it has to be kept secret.
The finance minister told reporters that the government might seek cooperation from the UN to get back the siphoned off money, if necessary. "We have understanding with different countries on bringing back these money and more understanding is in process."
Muhith also said information regarding corruption lies with Bangladesh Bank, National Board of Revenue and Anti-Corruption Commission. "We have opened up the information to foreign countries concerned for their cooperation."
Replying to queries, he said, "They (foreign countries) will be given information for the sake of investigation. I don't believe this information will be leaked. If any leakage occurs, it will be from here."

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