SQ Chowdhury laundered 1 billion dollar to Singapore
Staff Reporter :
A Bangladeshi politician, who was hanged for war crimes, had laundered more than one billion dollar to Singapore, revealed an Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigation.
"The money is now kept in various banks in Singapore," an ACC official told The New Nation on Thursday on condition of anonymity.
He said the ACC found the money-laundering trail after it opened an investigation into the wealth of Bangladeshis in Singapore.
"The Bangladeshi man was a BNP leader and convicted for war crimes. He was executed later following a court verdict," he added.
The ACC investigator refrained from quoting the name of Bangladesh man but a report aired by a private TV Channel on Thursday identified him as Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury.
On 1 October 2013, he was convicted of 9 out of 23 charges and sentenced to death by the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh for crimes during the 1971 Bangladesh's War of Independence. He was put to death by hanging in Dhaka Central Jail on 22 November, 2015.
When asked, ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam
Khan said, "As his family did not demand the money, Bangladesh faces problem in getting the money back. But the government has already taken initiative to bring back the laundered money through legal process. But the process is lengthy."
According to Global Financial Integrity (GFI), USD 61.6 billion were siphoned out of Bangladesh between 2005 and 2014, which is equivalent to 25 percent of its GDP in FY 2016-17. Between 2008 and 2017, Bangladesh lost a staggering USD 7.53 billion per year on average to trade misinvoicing, which accounted for 17.95 percent of Bangladesh's international trade with all its trading partners during the period.
In a more recent report, GFI revealed that USD 5.9 billion was siphoned out of Bangladesh through trade misinvoicing in 2015-and that Bangladesh is one of the top 30 countries in terms of illicit financial flows.
Similarly, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) reported this year that some USD 3.1 billion or Tk 26,400 crore is being illegally remitted from Bangladesh every year. Though it is lower in comparison to the GFI's estimates between 2008 and 2017, even this amount would have deprived the government exchequer of about Tk 120 billion as revenue each year, which is significant.