BFIU probes bank accounts held by 11 leaders of journalistic groups

The Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit seeks details of bank accounts held by 11 leaders of Bangladesh’s top journalistic associations, including Jatiya Press Club President Farida Yasmin.

The BFIU, an agency responsible for investigating suspicious transactions, sent a letter to all banks on Sunday, asking them to provide account details.

A senior official at one of the banks confirmed that the BFIU sought information on the bank transactions of 11 journalists, whose names, organisational positions, national identification numbers and passport numbers were provided by the agency. 

Farida Yasmin, president of Jatiya Press Club, tops the list, followed by Elias Khan, general secretary.

“Any government agency can ask the bank for an audit of an account,” Farida Yasmin told “But when the list of individuals only includes journalist leaders, it sends the wrong message to the public.”

Elias Khan said: “What I want to say is this – the contents of the investigation should be expressed publicly. I believe this audit is simply a way to distract us from those who have real money. It is an initiative aimed at harassing journalists.”

The list includes Kader Gani Chowdhury, president of the BNP-backed faction of the Dhaka Union of Journalists, and its general secretary, Md Shahidul Islam. Sajjad Alam Khan Tapu, general secretary of the Awami League-backed faction of DUJ, also appears on the list.

Four leaders of the Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists are on the list: M Abdullah, president of the organisation’s BNP-backed faction, and its secretary general, Nurul Amin Rokon, and Molla Jalal, president of the Awami League-backed faction, and its secretary general, Abdul Majid.

Mursalin Nomani, president of Dhaka Reporters Unity, and its general secretary, Mosiur Rahman Khan, are the final two names on the list.

According to the BFIU letter, the account details must be sent by Sept 18. was unable to get comments from the BFIU on why it had ordered information on the journalists.