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Tracking down terror financing

BB seeks account info of 18 suspects

By Special Correspondent
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The central bank has asked for information about the bank accounts of 18 suspected militants whose names have appeared in media in connection with terrorists activities in the country.
It has also asked the country's scheduled commercial banks to freeze their accounts if found with them, officials said.     
Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) on behalf of the central bank sent letters in this regard to the scheduled commercial banks on Wednesday.
These 18 militants include Bangladesh born Canadian citizen Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, sacked army major Zia-ul-Haque, two prime suspect of Dhaka café attack that killed 21 hostages and two police officers.
Police earlier announced bounties of Tk 20 lakh for each of the presumed masterminds (Tamim and Zia) of the attack.
 "We have asked the banks to provide account information of 18 people whose names have come up in the media in connection with militancy links and recent terror incidents," Debaprosad Debnath, General Manager of BFIU told The New Nation yesterday.
Letters related to the matter have been forwarded to all scheduled banks after a meeting of BFIU, specifying three directives.
 "The banks have been asked to freeze their accounts immediately, provide account information and produce transaction statement of their accounts," noted Debnath.
Letters asked the banks concerned to send the required information to the central bank within seven working days.
Officials said the BFIU has sought the information following request from the government's security agencies.
The security agencies are now in massive hunt for the hideouts of the masterminds and financier of the Dhaka and Solakia terror attacks.
Investigators dealing with Dhaka and Sholakia terror attacks said that Tamim Chowdhury and Zia-ul Haque, two leaders of banned militant outfits--Jamatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT)-- are among 10 who planned the Dhaka and Solakia terror attacks.
They have primarily identified five businessmen for financing a neo-JMB group in aiding radical extremism and carrying out terror activities in the country.
 "The suspected militants have created a network of financiers inside and outside the country. We want to track down their source of finance to curb their activities and prevent future terror attack," an investigator told The New Nation yesterday, requesting not to be named.
 "As part of the effort, we have requested the central bank to freeze bank accounts of the militants and their account information," he added.
The militancy issue is currently on top of the government agenda and it has been asked the law-enforcement agencies to go all out against militants in the country by rooting out the militants' dens and source of militant financing.

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