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Bangladesh: Anti-money Laundering Act to Include More Reporting Agencies
Source: thefinancialexpress-bd.com
Source Date: Sunday, September 05, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Thematic Website, Knowledge Management in Government, Citizen Engagement
Country: Bangladesh
Created: Sep 05, 2010

The number of reporting organizations, currently included in the Anti-money Laundering Act (AMLA) for informing Bangladesh Bank regularly about any suspicious transaction, is likely to be increased soon, official sources said.

A proposal to include at least 10 new reporting agencies has been sent to the National Coordination Committee (NCC) on Anti-money Laundering for approval.

The proposal will be placed at the next meeting of NCC to be held on Wednesday next for consideration.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith, who is also the convener of NCC, will preside over the meeting.

Currently, banks, financial institutions, insurance companies and money changers have to report to BB on any suspicious transaction.

According to the proposal, individuals and financial institutions involved in the capital market like stock dealers, merchant banks and portfolio managers will be included in the existing list of reporting organisations, an official in the Ministry of Finance (MoF) said.

The much-talked about issue of insider trading and market manipulation in the capital market is being discussed at the NCC.

Besides, financing terrorist activities, food adulteration, environment pollution sexual harassment and organised crimes are some of the new areas, which have also been proposed to be covered under the AMLA, sources said.

"The AMLA after amendments will be tough one and is expected to attain the global standard of anti-money laundering Acts as many new areas and sectors will be under its scanner" a top official in the MoF said.

He said a large amount of black money is being transacted in the capital market. Neither the BB nor the National Board of Revenue is aware of the volume of such transaction and the sources of the money transacted in the share market due to lapses in the legal system.

"Donors and international watchdog organizations have expressed their concern over the possible suspicious transaction made in the capital market," a senior BB official told the FE.

The move has been taken to upgrade the country's Anti-money Laundering Act, 2009 to the international standard. Recently, Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body formed to develop and promote national and international policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, in its report said Bangladesh is still non-compliant in at least 10 key areas in attaining international standard, an official said.

The FATF has strongly recommended the government to make the current AMLA stringent to attain global standard.

Meanwhile, the government has decided to take cooperation from the US government to update the country's AMLA.
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