AL Whip Shamsul, MP Shawon among around 50 under ACC scanner

  • Tabarul Huq,
    Published: 2019-10-16 00:57:39 BdST

The Anti-Corruption Commission or ACC has launched initial investigations into allegations against around 50 people that they have amassed “huge” illegal wealth and laundered money abroad.

They include the ruling Awami League’s Parliament Whip Shamsul Hoque Chowdhury and Nurunnabi Chowdhury Shawon MP, a Jubo League leader.

ACC officials said they discussed the issue and exchanged information with the Bangladesh Bank and the Rapid Action Battalion.

“We’ve got the names related to the allegations from different agencies and media reports. We have a list of 46 people now. It will expand,” ACC Secretary Md Dilwar Bakth told on Tuesday.

The commission will launch formal investigation by prosecuting the suspects if it finds anything substantial in the initial investigations into alleged illegal wealth and money laundering, he added.

The revelation comes within a month of the government crackdown on alleged wrongdoings like illegal gambling, operating illegal casinos, tender-grabbing, and extortion by leaders of the ruling party and its affiliates.

Whip Shamsul, an MP from Chattogram who is also the secretary general of Chattogram Abahani, had criticised the drives on sporting clubs in the crackdown on illegal gambling.

The law enforcers have busted illegal casinos in a number of renowned sporting clubs in Dhaka and the port city.

Ismail Hossain Chowdhury Samrat, Khaled Mahmud Bhuiyan and Enamul Hoque Arman, were expelled from the Jubo League and arrested after their alleged links to the casinos, had been revealed.

They feature on the ACC list as well, officials said.

Ismail Hossain Chowdhury Samrat and Nurunnabi Chowdhury Shawon

Ismail Hossain Chowdhury Samrat and Nurunnabi Chowdhury Shawon

Shamsul Hoque Chowdhury

Shamsul Hoque Chowdhury

The Bangladesh Bank has already frozen bank accounts of Jubo League leader Shawon, an Awami League MP from Bhola, and his wife Farzana Chowdhury.

The ACC will also check wealth of controversial contractor SM Golam Kibria Shamim alias GK Shamim, his wife Shamima Sultana and mother Ayesha Khatun.

The RAB seized a huge amount of cash during a raid on GK Shamim's office.

The RAB seized a huge amount of cash during a raid on GK Shamim's office.

Former Public Works Department chief engineer Mohammad Rafiqul Islam, additional chief engineer Abdul Hye and superintending engineer Hafizur Rahman who had allegedly helped Shamim win government contracts illegally, are on the ACC list as well.

The central bank had earlier sought their banking information.

The ACC is investigating Mohammedan Sporting Club Director Lokman Hossain Bhuiyan, Kalabagan Krira Chakra President and Krishak League leader Shafiqul Alam Firoz, who were arrested in the crackdown, and their associates, officials said.

The others on the ACC list include Swechchhasebak League President Molla Md Abu Kawsar, brothers and Gendaria Awami League leaders Enamul Hoque Enu and Rupon Bhuiyan, Jubo League leader and Dhaka South City Corporation Councillor AKM Mominul Haque alias Sayeed Commissioner, Dhaka North Councillor Habibur Rahman Mizan, Jubo League’s expelled office secrtary Kazi Anisur Rahman and Dhaka South Jubo League Organising Secretary Mizanur Rahman Bakul.

The ACC launched the enquiry on Sept 30 by forming a team under the supervision of Director General (special investigation) Sayeed Mahbub Khan and headed by Director Syed Iqbal Hossain. 

The other members of the team are deputy directors Md Jahangir Alam and Salahuddin Ahmed and assistant directors Neyamul Ahsan Gazi and Mamunur Rashid Chowdhury.

The investigators will soon summon the people on the list for questioning, ACC Secretary Dilwar said.

Md Dilwar Bakth

Md Dilwar Bakth

Abu Hena Mohd Razee Hassan, chief of the central bank’s Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit, met ACC Chairman Iqbal Mahmood last Thursday, a day after RAB Director General Benazir Ahmed met Iqbal.

ACC officials, requesting anonymity, said Abu Hena shared financial intelligence with the ACC chief.

Iqbal and Benazir discussed the people whose names have come up in the investigations into the illegal casinos, the officials said.

They requested anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media.