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Britain to help Bangladesh fight corruption

world Updated: Sep 17, 2007 09:42 IST

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Britain would help Bangladesh in its campaign against corruption with the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) and Scotland Yard assisting Dhaka's Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), reports said in Dhaka on Monday.

"This (assistance) will be very useful when we want to know if anyone has amassed illegal wealth," ACC chief retired lieutenant general Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury said, on Sunday, while returning home from London after attending a conference on money laundering.

The DFID and the Scotland Yard detectives, he said, would provide information about Bangladeshis who siphoned off money and amassed wealth in the UK.

The ACC chief, however, said there would have to be bilateral agreements for bringing people back and the recovery of the assets from abroad. "It will take time to bring people back and recover assets," he added.

Millions of dollars were believed to be siphoned out by influential politicians and businessmen during successive regimes in the past one decade.

A report last month suggested that an amount of Taka 21,900 crore alone was siphoned out by now detained former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's elder son Tarique Rahman, awaiting trial on several graft charges.

The World Bank too had offered its assistance to recovery and repatriation of such money.

"Bangladeshi assets had been stolen or smuggled outside the country for the last several years while corruption had eaten up nearly three per cent of the country's growth rate," its vice president Praful C Patel said.