DHAKA, Bangladesh - Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has stated that the Switzerland Ambassador to Bangladesh Nathalie Chuard's claims that the government did not request any specific information on its citizens' Swiss bank accounts is false.
Momen stated on Thursday, "She lied."
Earlier Thursday, the High Court ordered the government to explain why it had not sought information on funds deposited in Swiss banks by Bangladeshis.
Momen stated that he sought information from Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder and Finance Secretary Fatima Yasmin.
"They claimed we had requested information earlier but had not responded," I asked them to inform the public. Such lies should not be tolerated."
When asked if the Swiss Embassy would be contacted, he responded, "Let the governor or the finance ministry issue a statement first, then we'll tell them."
According to Bangladesh Bank spokesman Serajul Islam, the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) wrote to Swiss authorities seeking information and included it in its reports.
The BFIU, established to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, issued a report in June.
Md Kamal Hossain, an additional director at the BFIU, stated at the time that the Swiss National Bank had provided information on 67 Bangladeshi individuals and organizations.
They forwarded the information to law enforcement, the Anti-Corruption Commission, and other agency investigators.
Ambassador Chuard stated on Wednesday at an event hosted by the Diplomatic Correspondents Association in Bangladesh that Switzerland had provided the government with all available information on "how to reach an agreement on these matters."
"However, no request for specific funds has been submitted," she added.
When asked if the government had requested any information on money laundering, Chuard responded that no request for 'specific funding' had been made.