BANGLADESH: Death Penalty Kills a Deal

A new proposal from Bangladesh to make counterfeiting money punishable by the death penalty has alarmed the German Bundensbank (German Central Bank) who originally offered to assist Bangladesh in detecting counterfeit money.

The Economist reports that Bangladesh, plagued with more than 5,000 pending cases regarding currency counterfeiting, is scheduled to meet with officials from Bundensbank to help identify counterfeit currency in Bangladesh. The executive director of Bangladesh’s own central bank, Asim Kumar Dasgupta, recently stated that the Bangladesh Bank planned to establish a ‘“Fake Note Analysis Centre”’ that would help “improve security features of banknotes and check circulation of fake notes”. However, the involvement of Bundensbank became unclear after Bangladesh proposed a new law that would classify a counterfeit crime as one deserving of the death penalty.

In a clarifying report, The Globe and Mail stated recently that Bundensbank did not know of the death penalty proposal when they agreed to assist Bangladesh. The Bundensbank states that although “it believes that counterfeiting is a serious criminal offence, it considers the threat of imposing the death penalty to be excessive”. Furthermore, Bundensbank states it would not further the project to assist Bangladesh unless the proposals for the death penalty punishment were eliminated.

It seems that Bangladesh will have to rethink their harsh sentence if they hope to receive further assistance from Bundensbank.

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