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Swiss banks report: BFIU chief Masud Biswas summoned

The High Court has summoned the chief of Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) Masud Biswas for not following due process while submitting information regarding the Swiss banks.

Masud Biswas has been ordered to appear in the court at 11am on Wednesday (31 August).

An HC bench of Justice Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Khijir Hayat on Tuesday passed this order.

Deputy attorney general AKM Amin Uddin Manik represented the state, while Md Khurshid Alam Khan stood on behalf of the Anti-Corruption Commission.

According to the court, the report did not carry the name, designation or signature of the BFIU chief and therefore, failed to meet procedural requirements. “Why is there so much fear about attaching the name and designation?” the senior judge said.

Speaking at an event organised by the Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh on August 10, Swiss Ambassador to Dhaka Nathalie Chuard said Bangladesh did not request any specific information about funds deposited by Bangladeshis in Swiss banks.

“We have given all the information to the government on reaching an agreement [on access to banking information]. But no request has been submitted regarding particular funds,” she said.

A day later, the HC on its own initiative sought an explanation from the government and the ACC on the matter.

In response, the lawyer for the state submitted a BFIU report to the court on August 14.

The court later heard the statements from the state and the ACC. It commented that the statement given by the Swiss ambassador ‘contradicted’ the accounts of the government and the ACC.

The court then ordered that the report and statement be submitted in the form of an ‘affidavit’.