The United Kingdom has laid emphasis on prosecuting the ‘organised crime groups’ involved in illegal migration and human trafficking to make both Bangladesh and the UK safer through joint efforts.
“We hope to see a reduction in human trafficking and illegal migration as a result of this good work,” said UK Minister of State
for the Home Office James Brokenshire while concluding his brief visit to Bangladesh on Monday.
The UK Minister, who arrived here on Sunday morning, said they are now working together to make both the countries safer by prosecuting the organised crime groups.
“I’m pleased to hear that the UK’s donation of forgery equipment is being used so effectively by the immigration officers at Hazrat
Shahjalal International Airport,” he said.
During his visit, Brokenshire met senior Bangladeshi Ministers, including Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, Law Minister
Anisul Huq and Home Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Khan.
Bangladesh and the United Kingdom, meanwhile, agreed to consider the establishment of a framework arrangement to discuss bilateral and
global issues of interest.
The issue came up for discussion during the UK minister’s meeting with Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, according to the Foreign
The Foreign Minister apprised the British minister about the ‘zero tolerance’ policy of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina against terrorism
and violent extremism and steps taken by the government to counter radicalisation in Bangladesh.
Brokenshire raised the issue of returns of Bangladeshi nationals in ‘irregular’ situations in the UK.
Mahmood Ali informed that it is a Bangladesh government’s longstanding policy to bring back any Bangladeshi anywhere in the world in ‘irregular’ situation.
He, however, reiterated that cardinal principle for any Bangladeshi’s return is that the nationality of the person concerned must be verified first through the established process.
Brokenshire’s visit demonstrates the UK’s commitment to working closely with the Bangladeshi government to address shared issues and
threats, including tackling illegal migration and organised crimes, countering the risk of terrorism and improving aviation security, said a statement issued by the British High Commission in Dhaka.
A highlight of Brokenshire visit included visiting Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport like discussions with local officials on the forgery detection equipment donated by the UK last year to help combat illegal migration.
The equipment is now being used at the airport to detect false and counterfeit travel documents and prosecute criminals trying to use forged documents in order to travel overseas.
Concluding his visit Brokenshire also said Bangladesh is already an important partner to the UK thanks to their shared history, the UK’s
large Bangladeshi Diaspora and strong trade links.
The UK remains the largest bilateral donor or grant aid to Bangladesh (£180 million in FY2014/15) delivered through government, CSOs and the private sector.
Besides, the UK is an important trading partner. Some 100 UK firms have operations locally with the main centres of operation focused
around Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet.