Anti-money Laundering legislation of Bangladesh to be strengthened

Bangladesh Finance Minister has said that the country will enact two amendments to the existing anti-money laundering legislation to strengthen it and to prevent the flow of funds used for terrorism. The amendments will be brought in Anti Money Laundering Act 2009 and Terrorist Financing Act, 2009, including the issues of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing in the existing Extradition Act, enacting Mutual Legal Assistance Act and ratifying the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (Palermo Convention) and ratifying the UN Security Council Resolutions 1267 and 1373. Last week, the Minister chaired a meting of the national coordination council to review the overall progress in drafting the amendments.

According to the press, this initiative of Bangladesh government followed warnings of international anti-money laundering organizations which consider that country’s laws to fight the increasing money laundering and terrorism financing are ‘unsatisfactory’. By this issue, the country could even be included in the group of ‘ill-prepared countries’. The Asia Pacific Group (APG), the delegation from which visited Bangladesh last month, and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) organization have expressed their concerns over country’s non-compliance with international standards. The new legislation is necessary to let the global organizations know that Bangladesh is right on track to fight money laundering and terrorism financing. 

The government of Bangladesh has asked for the U.S. government cooperation to update its anti-money laundering and terrorist financing acts. The officials of the U.S. Department of Justice will also extend their cooperation to finalise the amendments in keeping them with the international standard. The issue between the U.S. and Bangladesh governments will be coordinated by the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG).

In October, the APG group will work to review Bangladesh’s progress in strengthening its positions in anti-money laundering and terrorism financing. Along with Bangladesh, APG will follow preparations of Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. India and Pakistan have already enacted the necessary laws and their review was completed.

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