21,725 MFS accounts blocked over hundi and gambling

Bangladesh’s Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) has taken action against 21,725 mobile financial services (MFS) accounts believed to be involved in hundi and online gambling activities.

According to an unnamed senior official from the anti-money laundering agency, these accounts mainly belong to bKash, Nagad, and Rocket.

Bangladesh Bank has issued a press statement, cautioning MFS providers to exercise greater vigilance to prevent future involvement in such deceptive transactions. 

Over the past nine months, the BFIU has gathered data on 371 online gaming and betting transactions, 91 transactions linked to online forex trading, and 413 transactions related to cryptocurrency. 

This information is currently under analysis for potential action by law enforcement agencies.

The Financial Intelligence Unit has also forwarded a list of 814 websites, 159 apps, and 442 social media pages and links associated with illegal hundi, gaming, betting, and cryptocurrency to law enforcement authorities.

BFIU has shared details of 21 money changers and 39 bank accounts with the Criminal Investigation Department of the Police.

These revelations came to light during a meeting held at the Bangladesh Bank headquarters. Top anti-money laundering compliance officers from commercial banks discussed strategies to combat ongoing money laundering and terrorist financing risks. 

In the past month, remittances from migrant workers totaled $1.59 billion, marking a 21.5% decrease compared to the previous year – the most significant decline since April 2020, as reported by the Bangladesh Bank.

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