High Court summons BFIU chief over report on Swiss bank accounts

The High Court has summoned Masud Biswas, head of the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU), for failing to follow proper procedure regarding a report submitted to the court on accounts held by Bangladeshis in Swiss banks.

The panel of Judge Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Judge Khizir Hayat issued the order after a hearing on Tuesday. Biswas is due in court at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin Manik represented the state in the hearing, while Md Khurshid Alam Khan appeared on behalf of the Anti-Corruption Commission.

According to the court, the report did not bear the name, designation or signature of the head of the BFIU and, therefore, did not meet procedural requirements. “Why is there so much fear of joining the name and designation?” said the head judge.

Speaking at an event organized by the Association of Diplomatic Correspondents of Bangladesh on August 10, Swiss Ambassador to Dhaka Nathalie Chuard said that Bangladesh had not requested any specific information on funds deposited by Bangladeshis. in Swiss banks.

“We have given all the information to the government to reach an agreement [on access to banking information]. But no requests have been submitted for specific funds,” she said.

A day later, the High Court, on its own initiative, requested explanations from the government and the ACC on the matter.

In response, the state’s attorney submitted a BFIU report to the court on August 14.

The court then heard statements from the state and the ACC. He noted that the Swiss ambassador’s statement “contradicted” government and ACC accounts.

The court then ordered that the report and statement be presented in the form of an “affidavit”.