Over US$25 billion hidden in Bangladesh


While Bangladesh currently is facing shortage of foreign exchange reserve due to global recession, an immediate anti-corruption drive to recover these secretly stored billions of dollars is becoming essential. According to several sources, the total amount of secretly stored cash, mostly in foreign currency would be over US$25 billion, while there would be tons of gold bars, gold biscuits, diamond and other precious gems.

Recently Indian government is also continuing countrywide drive to recover secretly stored black money. Commenting on the volume of black money in India, Muzaffar Ahmad Noori Bajwa, Editor of Indian news portal The Eastern Herald news portal said: “There is no official estimation published anywhere but it is somewhere between US$1.5 to 1.9 trillion dollars. This is only amounting the cash within India. Outside India, Indian nationals hold deposits amounting to US$30 trillion in secret bank accounts in Switzerland, Singapore and the Philippines”.

He said, “After the ED (Enforcement Directorate) took some strong steps, those who held black money in Switzerland started diverting their funds to the Philippines. But the ED is very much keeping eyes on such movements. Every day raids are being conducted throughout Indian and large amount of cash are being recovered”.

Experts said, Bangladesh needs to begin a massive countrywide anti-corruption drive immediately to recover billions of dollars, which are being secretly stored by various individuals at their homes, offices and “safe places”.

They also suggested the government to immediately impose a ban on import of vehicles and luxury goods while also to identify other unnecessary or less-required goods which can also come under similar ban. For the time being, it is essential for the government to mainly use country’s foreign exchange reserve towards important industrial raw materials for the profitable industries.

According to experts, thousands of Bangladeshi nationals have smuggled-out huge amount of cash into several foreign countries, including Caribbean island nations for buying “second citizenship”. The government can officially request those countries to provide lists of Bangladeshi nationals who have purchased citizenship. It may be mentioned here that, most of the Caribbean island nations are selling citizenship in exchange for US$100,000-300,000 while majority of the countries in the world are offering citizenship in exchange for large amount of investment. As Bangladeshi nationals have purchased such citizenship by sending money through illegal channels, stern punitive measures can be taken against them, while Bangladesh can work with the recipient nations in bringing back the smuggled amount.

Experts further said, anti-corruption drive to recover black money may not be effectively done by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) as its lacks manpower. Such drives can bring expected result only if a powerful task force is formed with participation of law enforcement agencies and Bangladesh Armed Forces.


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