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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 April 2006, 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK
Bangladesh targets militant cash
Rapid Action Battalion members at the bomb site in Gazipur
Islamic militants have waged a bombing campaign in Bangladesh
Bangladesh's central bank has fined the country's biggest Sharia-based commercial lender on charges of violating anti-money laundering laws.

An investigation by the Bangladesh Bank found the Islami Bank guilty of carrying out suspicious transactions.

It was fined 100,000 taka, ($1400; 800), the highest fine under Bangladesh's anti-money laundering act.

The central bank discovered that Islami Bank branches were used to telegraph funds to suspected Islamist militants.


The chief executive officer of the Islami Bank, Abdur Rakib, denied that it was involved in terror financing.

But he admitted that some of his bank officials had failed to follow the provisions of the anti-money laundering act.

Mr Rakib told the BBC that the Islami Bank had already initiated action against the officials who had violated the law and said it would abide by the central bank order.

The Bangladesh government has been trying to crack down on Islamic extremism in the country by eliminating the sources of funding used by militants.

Many of them have been fighting for the introduction of Sharia law in Bangladesh.

A series of bomb attacks in recent months have killed at least 30 people and wounded 150.

Last year anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International ranked Bangladesh as the most corrupt country on earth.

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