Published : Monday, 16 March, 2015, Time : 12:00 AM, View Count : 153
UK bank account frozen for 'unusual transaction' Saleem Samad Tarique Rahman's political career is being dramatically squeezed after British government sounded alarm at the irregularities in bank transactions of the exiled leader of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). An abnormal transaction of his bank account in London has raised eyebrows of the British HM Revenue, the central bank. It has triggered the Stratford branch of the NatWest Bank to take steps to freeze the account of the heir-apparent to the BNP leadership. The founder of infamous Hawa Bhaban has been warned time and again without any result. The officials have no alternative but to shut down the doors for the BNP's Senior Vice President. The British central bank discovered that Tarique, the lone political strategy adviser to the party chairperson, Khaleda Zia, attempted to deposit Sterling Pound 5,000 in the bank by UK BNP Media Cell staff Taj Uddin. The branch refused to accept the cash money of 5,000 Pound as NatWest Bank has already frozen the account, which bewildered the depositor. The Media Cell staff shared the same with other leaders, which let the cat out of the bag, reports a UK-based news portal BD Panorama. Tarique's lawyers have decided to appeal against the "illegal restriction" imposed by the NatWest Bank. The lawyers argue that the bank has not given enough time to appeal to block freeze of the account. Until the appeal is heard by the British central bank, the NatWest will continue imposition of the restriction on transaction of the account. The bank officials have told the staff that Tarique can neither withdraw deposited money, nor deposit any money in any currency. Lawyers said that Tarique has been blocked from online banking and is also unable to use ATM/credit cards issued by NatWest bank. The BNP leaders in Britain are worried that Tarique's political activities from London are gradually shrinking and feel that it may further reduce to near zero. The United Kingdom Immigration Service case officer is regularly knocking the doors of Tarique Rahman for follow-up with the application for 'indefinite leave to remain' as a refugee and a person with humanitarian protection. An application for refugee status of Tarique, under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 has been filed last year. The UK Immigration Service is yet to reach a decision on the fate of the application for stay for indefinite period. Meanwhile, Tarique's passport has expired in 2013 and did not take any initiative to apply for MRP passport with the Bangladesh High Commission in UK. Tarique Rahman, living in London for more than six years, does not have a 'valid' Bangladesh passport. He had the passport renewed in December 2008, a few days before the end of the then military-backed caretaker regime. The Bangladesh mission in London has categorically told Tarique's lawyers to seek formal permission to apply with Bangladesh Home Ministry with the readiness to return to Bangladesh to face several criminals cases filed in his home country. Bangladesh government has listed Tarique as absconding and have officially informed the British government for his extradition to face the music. The British authorities are yet to respond to the Bangladesh request.