Update April 28, 2016

Dhaka 9-38 am, 18-June, 2021

PM rules out long-term impact of reserve heist

Sumel Sarker


‘Killings part of plan to create instability’

28 April 2016, Nirapad News: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ruled out on Wednesday any long-term impact on the country’s economy due to recent reserve hacking of the Bangladesh Bank.

“There won’t be any long-term impact on the country’s economy due to the heist of US$101 million from Bangladesh Bank account as the central bank has taken immediate and time-befitting steps after the hacking,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina expressed this view while replying to a starred question from treasury bench member AKM Jahangir Hossain, who raised it on behalf of Hazi Mohammad Selim in the House during the PM’s question-answer session.

The Leader of the House said though the country’s economy counted a “reserve loss” for the time being due to the hacking, some portion of the stolen money of the central bank has been brought back by way of various measures.

“It is expected that the remaining money would be brought back through the legal process,” she said.

After the reserve hacking, she said, big hacking has been stopped due to immediate and timely steps of the central bank. Besides, an adverse situation has been thwarted by bringing back some portion of the money with the help of the Philippines government, she said.

The Prime Minister said the committee formed to probe the reserve heist has submitted an interim report. Various steps are being taken as per the report, she added.

After the reserve heist, she said, the amount of net foreign resources stood at Taka 1,981 billion at the end of March in comparison to the estimated target of Tk 1,866 billion set prior to undertaking the next currency policy in June 2016.

“So there is no apprehension of impeding the currency policy due to the reserve heist of the Bangladesh Bank,” she said.

Responding to a supplementary question from the same lawmaker, the Premier said the government did not allow anybody to do “offshore banking”.

“We have given permission for establishing new banks and their branches…we have also allowed the non-resident Bangladeshis to set up three banks, but we did not allow anybody to do offshore banking,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the government has information that many (people) do not bring money back home after doing business abroad while many others siphon off money abroad.

In this connection, the Premier mentioned that such incidents happened more during the rule of the past caretaker government in 2007-08. “Many of those, who were in power in 2001-06, laundered money abroad,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the government has taken measures to check money-laundering and bring back such money from abroad. “We have brought back the siphoned-off money of the son of former prime minister and BNP leader, which is a rare instance,” she said.

An earlier report adds: Addressing a monitoring committee meeting at her office on the day the Prime Minister said the ongoing killings were part of an orchestrated plan to create instability in the country to frustrate development, according to the PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim.

“We condemn every killing and terrorist and militant activities in any part of the world,” she said. “We condemn the killing at home and anywhere in the globe as well,” she added.

She condemned recent killings of a Bangladeshi couple in California and eight members of a single family in Ohio State of USA. She expressed hope that the US government would be able to bring them to justice.

About the recent killings in the country, the Prime Minister said it’s evident that the evil force which openly burnt people alive in the name of a movement has their hands behind these killings.

The law enforcers are actively engaged investigating the murders and all criminals would be arrested through investigation, she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the killers go to kill people during prayers instead of going to mosques. Actually the killers have no faith in Allah and any national identity, she said.

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