Anwar Choudhury temporarily recalled from Cayman’s governorship

File photo of British diplomat Anwar Choudhury. The British foreign office in Cayman Islands suddenly recalled him following unspecified allegations.

Bangladeshi-born British diplomat Anwar Choudhury was recalled to London from his Cayman Islands governorship on Wednesday.  The diplomat’s family is still staying in the Caymans, one of Britain’s 14 overseas territories.

Anwar Choudhury, the first Bangladeshi-born British diplomat, was appointed as the Cayman Islands governor on 26 March.

The British government has said several allegations against Anwar Choudhury are being investigated. The probes will take four to six weeks to end. Whether he would be back to his governorship depends on the result of the scrutiny.

The authorities concerned have not elaborated the allegations or issues in the last five days.

Anwar Choudhury joined in the Royal Navy in 1985 as an engineering strategist. He was the British high commissioner for Bangladesh in 2004. He was among the first two non-white high commissioners in Britain.

While serving in Bangladesh, Anwar was injured in a grenade attack in the Shah Jalal mazar (shrine) compound. The attack left three dead along with 40 wounded including Choudhury.

Mufti Hannan, leader of Harkat-ul-Jihad, and two other militants, were given death sentences for this incident and hanged in 2017.

Anwar was in Bangladesh till 2008. He then became director of the international institute under the Foreign and Commonwealth Office till 2011. He was made the high commissioner in Peru during 2013 and before fulfilling his term there, was elected as the Cayman governor.

The Cayman Islands governor acts as a mediator between the British government and local administration. The territory is one of the tax havens of the world.

The British government recently passed an act to prevent the evasion of tax in its overseas territories to expose the ownership of the registered companies there.

The act generated fear across the region of financial loss as the companies might transfer to secretive places.

The Cayman Islands’ elected premier, Alden McLaughlin, has been negotiating on the matter with the British government. In this backdrop, over the withdrawal of Anwar, the premier said to the Gurdian that it was “unforeseen and unfortunate”.

Anwar Choudhury created a stir in last three months after being elected as the governor. He gave several interviews to the local media and promised to relax the strict bureaucracy in the region.

Anwar’s deputy has been appointed as the governor in his absence.

Source: Prothom Alo.

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