Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- Bangladesh would have to go a long way in its effort to curb money laundering, a visiting team from the Asia Pacific Group of Money Laundering (APG) said in the capital, Dhaka on Thursday.

“We will continue to work with Bangladesh. A lot of work has been done but there’s still a long way to go,” Principal Executive Officer of the APG David Shannon told reporters after a wrap-up meeting with Bangladesh Bank, the country’s central bank, Governor Salehuddin Ahmed at the central bank in Dhaka on the day.

During its 12-day visit, the evaluation team met both public and private sector leaders and key officials of the government to know about compliance situation of the existing Anti-money Laundering Act and the relevant rules and regulations.

The team also assessed the progress in implementation of recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) that has already approved 49 of them to curb money laundering and terror financing.

The team will prepare a report on its findings to be published sometimes next year, Mr. Shannon said, adding that the APG will continue their cooperation to strengthen Bangladesh’s fight against money laundering.

“The assessment report may help obtain the membership of the Egmont Group,” a BB senior official told BBN in Dhaka, adding that Bangladesh has almost completed the preparation to apply for membership of the Egmont Group to operate its financial intelligent unit (FIU) in line with international standard.

Toronto-based Egmont Group, formed in 1995, is the coordinating body for the international group of FIUs. It has now 106 members across the world to promote and enhance international cooperation in anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing.

Bangladesh is now serving as a member of the APG, a regional anti-money laundering body, which is a part of the global network.

“We’ve a better set of rules and regulations to curb money laundering in Asia-Pacific standard,” the central bank chief said, adding that the team appreciated the measures Bangladesh has so far taken in this regard.

“The team suggested that all agencies will have to coordinate their tasks to achieve the goal,” Mr. Ahmed said. “It’s not that the central bank is working alone in this connection.”

BBN/SI/SI/AD-29 August08-12.15 PM