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Friday, July 10, 2015

Demand for world body to monitor money laundering

Silence over unabated money-laundering, siphoning of tax-dodged money decried


Social justice activists jointly decried Bangladesh’s silence over unabated money-laundering, siphoning of tax dodged money, which severely dented social development investment.

There is a demand of the government to punish those Bangladesh nationals who allegedly laundered money and are also involved in tax dodging.

The leader of the alliance Reazul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD said that tax evasion is predominant among the nationals who have opted for second-home in Malaysia, Dubai, Canada, United States and other destinations.

Under this situation, Chowdhury suggested formation of UN Tax Management Authority or Commission to intervene in money laundering and tax evasion by multi-national companies (MNCs).

The activists deliberately did not mention the nationals who are engaged in money laundering and tax evasion, but have indicated that business entrepreneurs, politicians and even senior bureaucrats either have a second-home or are contemplating to have a second-home soon.

Among the business community, the majority are the importers, who make windfall profits, are unaccounted, and untaxed.

On the other hand, the number of exporter’s choice for second-home is far less than the importers. The exporters, mostly garments and textile exporters apply for immigration to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and United States, which could be deemed as second-home.

The flight of the capital and siphoning of national wealth are only possible when there is lack of vigilance of monitoring of the income of the tax evaders, the social activist remarked.

Tax evasion obviously encourages spatial corruption of bureaucrats and politicians, which is unfortunately never detected and unable to bring them under the tax regime.

The rights groups lauded the Bangladesh Bank’s stringent vigil against money-laundering, but said that the central bank needs to do more to detect flight of capital through informal money-laundering agents, the money-changers.

The NGOs urged the central bank to bring the money-changers, engaged in ‘hundi’ under the scanner to check siphoning of capitals.

They blamed the MNCs for dodging huge taxes on various activities, which has become difficult of the state machineries to realise from the foreign companies.

Saleem Samad, an Ashoka Fellow (USA) is an award winning investigative reporter and is Diplomatic Correspondent with Daily Observer, Bangladesh. Twitter @saleemsamad