Watching the watchmen not follow the money

Posted in politics by jrahman on November 9, 2009

Responding to a question from a fellow MP on 28 October 2009, the Finance Minister reportedly told the Sangsad that the Bangladesh Bank or the Finance Department had no information about:

  • how much money allegedly siphoned off overseas under the BNP-JI government has been recovered or by whom;
  • who actually laundered the money in the first place; or
  • whether any action has been taken against anyone for laundering the money.

This was reported by Amader Shomoy, Amar Desh, and Naya Diganta.  Of course, the latter two newspapers are firmly in the anti-liberation camp sympathetic to BNP-JI, and the first will print any old rubbish has a history of printing false inaccurate news.  So I wanted to know what the pro-liberation progressive mainstream newspapers such as Prothom Alo and Daily Star said. 

May be I am looking at the wrong places, but I couldn’t find anything on the 29 October edition of either papers.   

I don’t want to get into a debate about Tarique Rahman’s guilt or innocence.  Nor do I want relitigate 1/11.  But I do wonder why the largest national dailies have not reported this. 

It’s not like these papers have been silent on this issue.  Prothom Alo reported on 5 February that the Prime Minister has set up an inter-departmental task force to follow the money trail.  And Daily Star reported on 12 March 2007 that Tarique Rahman had admitted,  in the face of ‘extensive questioning’, to holding bank accounts in five countries, and the investigators were to ‘seek assistance from the Bangladesh Bank (BB) and the foreign ministry to know how much money he has in those accounts and how he sent the sums abroad’.

Star reporters like Julfikar Ali Manik are making up fantastic stories finding information that links Hawa Bhaban to the 21 August attack.  Why aren’t they following the Hawa Bhaban’s money?   

Was the task force set up by the PM in February incompetent? 

Did the investigators in charge of torture extensive questioning took the money themselves (I think the Bangla term is chor-er upor batpari)? 

Or was there no money in the first place?

These are important questions that we need to know the answer to.  Somehow, I doubt we will.

(Crossposted at UV)


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