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‘Begum Para’ in Canada: ACC seeks a list of people who bought homes

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The Anti-Corruption Commission asked the government to provide a list of its officials who own homes in "Begum Para" of Toronto, Canada.

"We're looking into the matter and sought a list from the government," ACC Secretary Dilwar Bakth told reporters yesterday at his office in the capital's Segunbagicha.

The ACC commissioner has already talked about the matter, he said.

"Once we get [the list], we'll start working."

On Sunday, the High Court asked the ACC chairman, secretaries concerned of the ministries of home and foreign affairs, governor of Bangladesh Bank and its financial intelligence unit, chairman of Board of Revenue, and the deputy commissioner of Dhaka to submit the details, including names and addresses, of the people who launder money abroad, to the court by December 17.

Issuing an injunction to restrain people from laundering money abroad, the HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Ahmed Sohel directed intelligence agencies to take appropriate steps to stop the laundering of money.

Prashanta Kumar Halder alias PK Halder, who along with others misappropriated at least Tk 10,200 crore from four non-banking financial institutions, bought properties and launched a business in Canada, ACC sources said.

Like him, many Bangladeshis have bought luxurious homes in "Begum Para", spending millions laundered out of Bangladesh. Mainly, the wives and children of Bangladeshi millionaires live in these homes in an area in Toronto, hence the name Begum Para.

According to a report published in this newspaper on November 20, the "Begum Para" has come up in numerous political discussions in Bangladesh.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen recently raised eyebrows saying that government officials are forging ahead of politicians in the race to purchase luxurious homes in Begum Para. The minister spoke to The Daily Star on this issue over the phone on November 19.