The High Court on Tuesday summoned the head of the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) for an inappropriate submission of a report about the deposits by Bangladeshi nationals in Swiss banks.
BFIU Md Masud Biswas has been summoned to appear before the court at 11am today to explain the submission.
"Submitting a report like this without mentioning the name and designation of the submitter is like catching fish without getting wet. Why are you so afraid to submit the report with your name and post," referring to the BFIU chief, the High Court (HC) bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Khizir Hayat told Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin.
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) lawyer M Khurshid Alam Khan was present during the time.
At a programme in Dhaka, Swiss Ambassador to Bangladesh Nathalie Chuard recently said that the government did not ask them for any specific information about Bangladeshis who have deposited money in Swiss banks.
She said, "We have given all information to Bangladesh on how to reach an agreement on these matters [regarding access to financial information]. But there was no separate request from Dhaka on bank deposits by Bangladeshis in Switzerland."
Subsequently, the court asked for an explanation from the government and the ACC, as the authorities had been claiming that Switzerland did not provide them with the financial details despite several requests.
On 14 August 14, the state presented a BFIU report to the court. Besides, the ACC lawyer also filed another report supporting the claim.
After hearing from the state and the ACC, the court then said the statement by the ambassador was "contradictory" with the statement of the government and the ACC.
The court then ordered that the report and statement be submitted in the form of an "affidavit". But the BFIU chief was summoned during Tuesday's hearing for "not following due process" in submitting the report.
According to the annual report of the Swiss National Bank (SNB), the amount of money in the bank parked by Bangladeshi nationals and companies was about Tk8,400 crore – around 54% more than the previous year – at the end of 2021.
In an order in February 2021, the High Court asked the government to provide the list of how many people in Bangladesh have money in Swiss banks. It was also asked at that time what steps the government had taken to bring back the laundered money.