Envoy lied that Bangladesh never asked for info from Swiss bank: Momen

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Dhaka, Aug 11: Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said today that the Swiss ambassador lied when she said the Bangladesh government never asked for particular information about money deposited in various Swiss banks.

“She [the Swiss ambassador] lied. The governor of Bangladesh Bank and finance secretary had previously informed us that they sought information from the Swiss bank but the bank authorities did not respond. I asked them again today and they responded the same as before,” the minister said while talking to reporters at his office on Thursday (11 August).

He went on to say, “Then I asked them [the governor and finance secretary] to make the information public. One should not get away with spreading such a lie.”

Asked whether the foreign ministry will contact with the Swiss ambassador, Momen said, “Let the governor, finance secretary and finance ministry give their statements first. Then the ministry will look into the matter.”

On 10 August, Ambassador of Switzerland to Bangladesh Nathalie Chuard said the government has never asked for particular information or data of any Swiss bank account holders.

“The Swiss government does not want any corruption or laundered money to be deposited in Swiss banks. Governments of the two countries can discuss the issues raised regarding Bangladeshis keeping money in Swiss banks,” the ambassador said in response to a question from journalists during a discussion at the National Press Club on Wednesday (10 August).

The Swiss ambassador said according to the annual report published in June 2022 by the central bank of Switzerland, Swiss National Bank (SNB), Bangladeshis have deposited money equivalent to about Tk3,000 crore in various banks of Switzerland.

“We have informed the government of what to do to get information, but we have not been asked for any specific information,” said Chuard.

The Swiss National Bank provides the information about how much money Bangladeshis have deposited every year, but it is not possible for them to say whether the money has been earned illegally or not, said the Swiss ambassador.