Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit has detected cases of money laundering involving Tk 4,000 crore and is carrying out a thorough probe into it, Bangladesh Bank Deputy Governor Abu Hena Mohd Razee Hassan said yesterday.
Information on the irregularities has already been sent to the government agencies concerned for taking necessary steps, he said.
“The issue of money laundering is being taken care of properly,” said the BB official at a programme for announcing the monetary policy for July-December at the BB headquarters.
The deposits of Bangladeshis in various Swiss banks dropped recently as the central bank has been keeping a close watch on money laundering, he pointed out.
BB Governor Fazle Kabir said the central bank has taken cautious measures in the new monetary policy, keeping in mind the issue of money laundering.
He mentioned that the BB has intensified its monitoring to check capital flight in the election year.
Allah Malik Kazemi, change management adviser to the BB, said the central bank has micro-level regulations to monitor whether money is being laundered out of the country through fake imports.
BB Chief Economist Faisal Ahmed said that in the new monetary policy, the credit growth target in the private sector has been kept unchanged at 16.8 percent as part of efforts to ensure quality lending in the election year.
In recent times, the BB has found some gross violations in foreign exchange transactions that have raised concern about money laundering.
In many cases, importers didn't submit to the banks concerned bills of entry -- the document to prove that imported goods actually entered the country -- against the letters of credit (LCs).
This indicates that the goods didn't enter the country but the money was transferred abroad to the designated importers' accounts.
The BB recently fined Janata bank Tk 10 lakh for having huge overdue bills of entry against imports.
According to BB estimates, about 7 percent of the LCs remains mysteriously unsettled with no bill of entry submitted.
Janata Bank alone shares 3 percent of the LCs or about half of the cases of non-submission involving around $1 billion.
This major violation in foreign exchange transactions has made the BB worried. It served five warning notices on Janata Bank from January last year to April this year.