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Country is most vulnerable to capital flight

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25th-Jul-2020       
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REPORTS in national dailies on Friday said Bangladesh is among the top forty countries around the world and only second in South Asian region in terms of risk for money laundering and terrorist financing and its risk is only growing, according to an annual report by Basel Institute on Governance which monitor the global money laundering and terrorists financing and publish report every year.
Need no mention that the country loses $7.53 billion on an average per year to become one of the worst affected countries from capital flight. It has lost over $70 billion in one decade from 2008 from capital flight. Powerful people mainly resort to over-invoicing and under invoicing of trade bills to move the money out of the country. Since such people runs the government or operate under the shadow of the government, capital flight is going almost unchecked. There is enough law but it lacks application to plug the money flight. Our politics and businesses have become merged at some points. Big business men are now big politicians and even ministers. Here law enforces are powerless and judiciary often makes compromise.  
The Basel reports has said besides Bangladesh, other South Asian countries on high risk of money laundering include India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. It has rightly identified Bangladesh at high risk and which is only increasing because it has moved seven notches down in one year from its last year's rank at 38thposition. Estonia, Andorra and Finland, Bulgaria and Cook Islands are some less risk prone countries to suggest almost all countries have been affected by money laundering but developing countries like Bangladesh is worst affected.  
The Swiss report is an eye opener but Switzerland is the home of most such illegal money from poor and developing countries. A Bangladesh Bank official said he couldn't however believe that the country's risk factors have increased despite many measures were taken so far.
We must say the report is not anything new but when our concerned government ministers show ignorance of such reports or try to rule out it as baseless, we face a systemic problem how to make our system accountable to rule of law and our politics to save the nation instead of plundering people's wealth.

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