The High Court yesterday issued an injunction to restrain people from laundering money abroad, observing that those who do so have no patriotism and betray the country.
Issuing a suo moto (voluntary) rule, the HC directed intelligence agencies to take appropriate steps to stop the laundering of money.
The court ordered respondents to submit the details, including names and addresses of the people who launder money abroad, to the court by December 17.
The respondents are the chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission, 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.
The HC also issued a rule asking them to explain in four weeks why their inaction to take appropriate measures against perpetrators involved in illegal money laundering should not be declared illegal.
The HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Ahmed Sohel also set December 17 for passing further orders on the issue. The bench issued the order and rule on a suo moto move following reports in The Daily Star, Bangla dailies Prothom Alo, Janakantha and Bangladesh Pratidin about Bangladeshi nationals purchasing luxurious residences in different countries with laundered money.
During court proceedings, Justice Talukder said a number of businessmen, government service holders and politicians have reportedly bought luxurious residences in countries including Canada, Malaysia and Singapore by laundering money from Bangladesh in violation of the law.
They have grown up and studied in Bangladesh but have illegally laundered huge amounts of its money abroad without authorisation, the HC bench said.
The perpetrators have no love for the country, Justice Talukder said, adding that appropriate action must be taken against them, without which the money-laundering will not stop and so the actual development of the country will not take place.
ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan and Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin Manik participated in the virtual proceedings of the HC bench.
According to a report published on The Daily Star on November 20, the "Begum Para" of Toronto in Canada has come up during numerous political discussions in Bangladesh.
Many Bangladeshis have bought luxurious residences in "Begum Para", spending millions laundered from Bangladesh. Mainly, the wives and children of Bangladeshi millionaires live in these homes, hence the name Begum Para.
It is largely believed that mainly politicians have bought homes there. 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.