Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said on Wednesday that it will not be wise for him to discuss Bangladeshi businessmen named by the Pandora Papers.
He said the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) submitted names of 42 persons to the High Court. Now the matters remain pending with the court.
"So, I should not discuss the matter while the issue is pending with the court", he told reporters while responding to a question after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase (CCPA) on Wednesday.
Eight Bangladeshis and five addresses with links to Bangladesh were included in the latest document released under the Pandora Papers late Monday night; all of them owned business establishments in the British Virgin Islands.
The Pandora Papers are 11.9 million leaked documents with 2.9 terabytes of data that the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) published beginning on 3 October 2021.
The leak exposed the secret offshore accounts of 35 world leaders, including current and former presidents, prime ministers, and heads of state as well as more than 100 billionaires, celebrities, and business leaders.
Mohammad Bhai, Sakina Miraly, Nihad Kabir, Anita Rani Bhowmik, Islam Manzurul, Walter Pollak, Daniel Ernesto Iubatti and Sayedul Huda Chowdhury are named on the latest list.
The finance minister said some 43 names of individuals and firms were submitted to the court.
"Gradually more names will be submitted", he added.
Meanwhile, the ICIJ said that the names being mentioned on the list do not necessarily mean they were involved in any illegal activities.
The leaks show that the names of the entities are largely foreign sounding but the addresses used are located in Bangladesh.
The "Pandora Papers" investigation -- involving some 600 journalists from media including The Washington Post, the BBC and The Guardian -- is based on the leak of documents from 14 financial services companies around the world.
It began in October earlier this year, where current and former leaders were featured in the latest vast trove of documents analyzed by the ICIJ -- facing allegations ranging from corruption to money laundering and global tax avoidance.
The new list contains some 740,000 individuals and organizations, from countries (apart from Bangladesh) such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, and Argentina.
Among the eight Bangladeshis, Nihad Kabir, president of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has set up a company in the British Virgin Islands named Capital Fair Holding Limited. The company was registered on August 8, 2008.
Manzurul also owns a company in the British Virgin Islands named Oriental Agricultural Chemical Company.
He used an address in Gulshan, Bangladesh, as well as a UK identity.
Among others, Saidul Huda, Sakina and Mohammad Bhai have cited Gulshan addresses while Anita Rani gave an address of Chawkbazar.
Saidul owns a company named Beben International, Anita owns Enterprise Holdings Limited, Sakina owns Moon Wrecker Services Corporation, Mohammad Bhai owns 1936 Holdings Limited, Prahmad owns Slint Link Enterprise Limited and Daniel owns Cudel Limited.
Earlier, in a document published by the Pandora papers in the first phase, the name of a Bangladeshi businessman Abdul Awal Mintoo was mentioned along with a businessman from Nepal.
The ICIJ did not disclose the data of Pandora Papers publicly but exchanged it with the stakeholders.
In most countries, the ICIJ stresses, it is not illegal to have assets offshore or to use shell companies to do business across national borders.
But such revelations are no less of an embarrassment for leaders who may have campaigned publicly against tax avoidance and corruption, or advocated austerity measures at home.