Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today said he was surprised to see the number of government officials who siphoned money to Toronto in Canada, outnumbering politicians.
"It was an initial information. We have to verify it," he told reporters referring to information they have on 28 cases.
Of the 28 cases, only four are politicians while the rest are government officials and a few businesspeople.
"I thought that the number of politicians would be higher. I was surprised, though the information is not comprehensive…," said the minister.
He said many government officials have houses in Toronto and their children are studying there.
The foreign minister said such situation not only persists in Canada, but also in Malaysia.
"It's difficult to get information," Dr Momen said, adding that media reports on thousands of crores of money siphoned overseas are not fully true considering the figure.
He said foreign countries are also responsible to some extent in this regard, saying Switzerland does not give them information on who is depositing money in their banks.
Dr Momen said they talk about transparency but they do not provide information, if sought. "Double standards exist there."
The foreign minister said it is fine if anybody takes money abroad legally but the government can bring it back under law if they send it illegally.
Dr Momen said they urge those who took the money abroad to invest it in Bangladesh.