BB uses software to detect people linked to terror financing

The Bangladesh Bank (BB), by using goAML software, has identified some people involved in terror financing and money laundering. Sources in the home ministry said that the BB had used goAML to analyse the Cash Transaction Reports (CTRs) and Suspicious Transaction
Reports (STRs) of seven private commercial banks.The central bank has recently installed the intelligence software, received from the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), for the surveillance and detection of terror financing and money laundering.
According to a top BB official, for identifying people engaged in unlawful financial activities, the government would link up the country’s bank and financial institutions, stock exchanges, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), National Board of Revenue (NBR), real estate companies, jewellery shops, and intelligence and law enforcement agencies to the BB’s goAML server.
“We will ask the government agencies, organisations and the institutions to register with goAML”, the official said, on the condition of anonymity.
“After completing the registration, the government bodies will send us data, which goAML will analyse in five minutes. Currently, analysing data manually takes three to four days”, he added.
Additional political secretary of home ministry Dr Kamal Uddin Ahmed told The Independent: “We need cooperation from all the organisations concerned to detect the evil elements involved in terror financing and money laundering”.
According to sources, a huge amount of money is pouring into the country to finance militant activities. At the same time, a huge amount is also going out through money laundering.
“A recent study has revealed that the NBR is losing around Tk. 1,000 crore every year, owing to the capital flight of about $1.8 billion from the country, through the operations of multinational corporations”, said an NBR official.
It has been alleged that a number of political leaders, including Tariq Rahman and Arafat Rahman Coco, sons of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, and Tariq’s friends Giasuddin Al Mamun and Ismail Hossain Simon, had transferred about Tk. 20,000 crore to 12 countries, including Malaysia, Thailand, Switzerland, Singapore, the Philippines, and Hong Kong, through illegal channels.
In November 2012, the ACC claimed to have brought back Tk. 130 million (2.24 million Singapore dollars) from Arafat’s funds to Bangladesh after a long legal process. About Tk. 1.5 million (23,800 Singapore dollars) of this was deposited into the ACC’s bank account.
On June 23, 2011, a Dhaka court found Arafat Rahman Coco guilty of laundering money, and sentenced him to six years in prison. The court also slapped a fine of Tk. 190.41 million on him.
Sources said that the authorities had inked an anti-money laundering agreement as a mutual legal assistance with the US, Singapore, the UK, the UAE, and Malaysia, to combat terror financing and recover fraudulent transactions by militants, corrupt officials, and business tycoons.

-With The Independent input

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