BANGLADESH TO DROP DEATH PENALTY PLANS FOR COUNTERFEITING
January 18, 2013: Bangladesh will drop plans to impose the death penalty for counterfeiting, a central bank official said, as it seeks technical cooperation from Germany's Bundesbank in tackling the crime.
The German central bank said on January 17 it had suspended a prospective cooperative venture with Bangladesh Bank following media reports that Dhaka was planning to impose the death sentence to combat serious counterfeiting cases.
"We're going to drop the death sentence clause from the proposed laws," Bangladesh Bank spokesman A.F.M. Asaduzzman told AFP.
Counterfeiting is a massive problem in impoverished Bangladesh.
The government has engaged its elite security force and police intelligence to catch gangs producing fake notes.
Under the earlier draft law to which Germany's central bank had objected, a person could be sentenced to death if found guilty of circulating at least 10,000 counterfeit notes. The minimum penalty would be six months in jail.
There was no immediate comment available from the Bundesbank on the Bangladesh announcement.
The German central bank had said earlier that while it believed counterfeiting was a serious criminal offence, it considered imposing the death penalty "excessive".
"Unless Bangladesh clearly and irrevocably drops these plans, the Bundesbank will terminate the consultation project before it has begun," it said. (Sources: expatica.com, 19/01/2013)