Bangladesh to enact tougher money laundering act


The government has decided to have an ordinance promulgated on Money Laundering Prevention (Amendment) Act to introduce tougher provisions in the proposed law ahead of a visit by an international anti-money laundering organisation.

The cabinet yesterday approved a proposal of the finance division to promulgate an ordinance on the proposed law considering “its urgency”, cabinet secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said.

It opted for promulgation of the ordinance to bring changes in the money laundering act as the parliament is not now in session, he said.

President Abdul Hamid will shortly promulgate the ordinance.

The cabinet secretary said Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), an international organisation consisting of 41 members including Bangladesh and a number of international and regional observers would visit Bangladesh October 11-12 when the government would present its initiative to this end.

APG members and observers are committed to the effective implementation and enforcement of internationally accepted standards against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

The issue of money laundering is monitored and evaluated internationally and regionally as it is a global problem, Musharraf said.

“If we can give a visible shape of the law before the visit, then our initiative will be visible by the time. We will do well in the evaluation,” he added.

The cabinet on August 17 gave a final approval to the draft act with a provision allowing joint investigation by multiple agencies into money laundering offences. The proposed amendments also increased the fine from Tk 10 lakh to Tk 20 lakh, but the jail terms remain the same – four years minimum and 12 years maximum.

It was also proposed that the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) be strengthened.


Meanwhile, the cabinet yesterday paved the way to set up two more medical universities in the country. It approved the drafts of ‘Chittagong Medical University Act-2015’ and ‘Rajshahi Medical University Act-2015’.

At present Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), formerly the PG Hospital, is the country’s lone medical university.

Chittagong Medical College and Rajshahi Medical College and other medical colleges in Chittagong and Rajshahi region would be affiliated with the two medical universities which would provide post-graduate level studies and bachelor degrees in nursing, the cabinet secretary said.

The public universities would be autonomous in terms of administrative and financial management. President of the country will be the Chancellor who will appoint a vice chancellor.

The cabinet also adopted a resolution thanking Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for winning the UN’s ‘Champion of the Earth’ and International Telecommunications Union’s ‘ICT Sustainable Development Award’.

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