Call for strict vigilance against terror financing
A two-day conference of the chief anti-money laundering compliance officers of different banks began here yesterday with a call for maintaining a strict vigilance against ill practices, particularly stopping terror financing, for the sake of a disciplined financial management, social and political stability.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) Deputy Governor Ziaul Hasan Siddique formally inaugurated the conference as the chief guest at its Chittagong office.
Talking to BSS after the inaugural session of the programme, the BB governor said apart from various effective steps and motivational campaign, a strict enforcement and compliance with the anti-money laundering act has resulted in a significant increase in foreign remittances through legal channels.
Ziaul said the foreign remittance through banking channels was Tk 7.8 billion in the fiscal year 2007-2008, while the figure is expected to be around Tk 10 billion in the current fiscal.
The conference held under the auspices of the central bank aims at sharing and informing the banks about their responsibilities, duties and problems in preventing money laundering and terror financing.
A total of 48 chief anti-money laundering compliance officers of different private and public banks and Chittagong regional chiefs have been participating in the conference.
With General Manager of BB's Anti-Money Laundering Department M Mahfuzur Rahman in the chair, BB Executive Director Md Abul Kashem and GM of Chittagong office Nowshad Ahmed Chowdhury spoke at the function as the special guests.
Chittagong regional GM of Agrani Bank Serajur Rahman and Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer of Dhaka Bank also addressed the inaugural function.
Speaking at the function, Ziaul said there is no alternative to stopping the sources of terror financing and laundering money if we want a violence-free society and disciplined financial system, especially a sustainable banking sector.
Urging the bankers to keep close eyes on any types of suspicious and dubious financial transactions as well as on whitened moneys, he said inflows or outflows of illegal moneys and whitened moneys always remain as major sources of terror financing and drug trafficking as there was a trend to pumping out moneys were whitened from the banks as soon as possible.
The BB chief said account opening forms were made uniform for all banks to have adequate information about account operators.
A high-profile taskforce headed by the BB governor has been working to bring back the siphoned-off money from abroad.
The conference was informed that Financial Intelligent Unit of Bangladesh Bank has already signed an MoU with Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines and Indonesia to exchange information about illegal financial dealings and pilfered money.
Bangladesh has been working relentlessly with different global organisations and countries to stop money laundering and terror financing.