The prime minister says she has information on money laundering crime committed by many “well-known” people.
After a journalist asked her about recent findings by police at a press conference on Wednesday, Sheikh Hasina said she doubted the media is brave enough to publish the names of the money launderers.
“I have information on many renowned people. The Anti-Corruption Commission and the Bangladesh Bank are also collecting information. They will be revealed. Let’s see whether you write about them,” she said.
Switzerland, according to her, did not provide any list of Bangladeshis sought by the authorities as part of the efforts to penalise money launderers and recover laundered funds.
“We had sought the list from the Swiss banks long ago, but nothing has been forthcoming. Everyone gives unconfirmed information. No one can provide the correct information. This is the problem.”
Swiss Ambassador to Dhaka Nathalie Chuard recently said Bangladesh did not seek information on particular funds, prompting the authorities to assert that they had sent a list of 67 people and got information on only one of them.
DOLLAR IS A ‘GLOBAL CRISIS’
The prime minister said all the countries, not Bangladesh alone, are facing a dollar crisis because of Western sanctions on Russia over the war in Ukraine.
She said the foreign currency reserves swelled due to less economic activities during the coronavirus pandemic. When the pandemic ebbed, import of capital machinery and raw materials increased, putting pressure on the reserves. The Russia-Ukraine war made the situation worse, Hasina said.
“And another thing is that we always repay our debts in time. We’ve never defaulted on loans, which also puts pressure on the reserves.”
“Some quarters started manipulating dollar prices. Now the situation is stable after proper monitoring.”
The prime minister believes the global crisis will deepen in future.
“I fear a global famine will take place. There will be an acute economic crisis. This is why I’ve been asking everyone to cultivate all the lands so that we do not need to depend on others for food.”