Probe on to trace money laundered overseas for second homes

Golam Mowla
Published : 07:30, Nov 13, 2019 | Updated : 10:30, Nov 13, 2019

Commuters walk in front of the Bangladesh central bank building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sept 30, 2016. REUTERS/FILE PHOTOAn investigation is underway to find if ousted Jubo League leaders laundered money abroad; information is being gathered on the Malaysia second home project. Officers of the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) have already visited Malaysia.
There is information that several people linked to the illegal casino trade, amassed wealth in Thailand, Singapore, Australia, UAE and Malaysia.
Chief executive of BFIU, Abu Hena Raji Hassan, said: “We are gathering details about people acquiring second homes and will be able to bring back information of people who transferred money overseas.”
It’s believed that Ismail Hossain Chowdhury, Samrat, the outcast from Jubo League and others, bought homes in Malaysia under the second home project.
Samrat is believed to have bought a flat in Ampang area of Malaysia.
Reportedly, some MPs also have funds overseas and they are also under probe.
There are around 4,000 Bangladeshis registered in the Malaysia second home project. Many are living in Malaysia permanently. More than 300 Bangladeshis have homes there.
As per the latest information from Malaysia Ministry of Tourism Arts Culture, 4,018 Bangladeshis took advantage of the Malaysia second home project and, for this, around Tk 42.19 billion was transferred out of the country.
However, it’s suspected that the actual number of Bangladeshis under the second home project is between 12,000 and 14,000. A huge amount of money was taken from Bangladesh and invested in their agro sectors.
There are a few thousand Bangladeshi restaurants in Malaysia too. Along with investments made into five star hotels, garment factories, pharmaceuticals etc.
BFIU head, Abu Hena Raji Hassan says: “To bring back laundered money, support from ACC, NBR, attorney general’s office and law enforcers is needed.”
According to a study of the Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management (BIBM), it seems taking loans from banks, many businessmen have bought homes in Malaysia, Canada and Singapore, UK, USA, UAE and USA.
As per information, 40,000 people of 130 countries became registered under the second home project. Most applicants are from China followed by Japan and then Bangladesh.