BFIU told to provide info on the accounts used
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has found evidence that dismissed Lakshmipur-2 lawmaker Mohammad Shahid Islam laundered crores of taka to five countries through the bank accounts of 10 of his associates.
Other than to Kuwait, where he has already been convicted of human trafficking, the former MP transferred dirty money to the USA, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Dubai, according to the primary findings of the anti-graft watchdog.
The associates are Nur Uddin Chowdhury and his wife Rubina Islam Rubna, their son Novera Shams Chowdhury, daughter Nusaiba Shams Neha, Maksons Group Chairman Mohammad Ali Khokon, his wife Laila Ali, their sons Sanjid Hasan and Navil Hasan, Muhammad Noman and his wife Shamsun Nahar.
The ACC has already written to the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) under Bangladesh Bank for detailed information on the bank accounts of the 10 individuals. The information requested includes transactions within a certain timeframe.
The commission also requested that the central bank freeze the accounts, according to the letter signed by ACC Deputy Director Md Salahuddin on Sunday.
Confirming the development, an ACC official on condition of anonymity said: “We have asked BFIU to provide us with the information on an emergency basis."
BFIU has already taken up necessary measures to freeze the accounts in line with the letter and the relevant laws, a top official of the unit told Dhaka Tribune.
Widely known as Kazi Papul, Shahid amassed Tk 1,400 crore by trafficking people to Kuwait and laundered the money to various countries, including the Gulf state, according to the commission.
On June 22 last year, the ACC sent a letter to Bangladesh Bank to freeze the business accounts of Papul, his wife Salina, daughter Wafa Islam, and sister-in-law Jasmine at both local and foreign banks and financial institutions.
An inquiry in this regard was launched on February 26, 2020.
Papul was arrested in Kuwait in June last year. Subsequently, the public prosecutor of Kuwait approached Bangladesh Bank, asking it to freeze his bank accounts.
The financial balance of Papul’s company amounts to about 5 million Kuwait dinars, including three million dinars as the company’s capital.
Parliament on February 22 declared Lakshmipur 2 constituency vacant following Papul’s January 28 conviction by a Kuwaiti court on charges of human trafficking and money laundering. He was sentenced to four years in prison.
Papul was also charged with torturing employees of his company, based on complaints from five Bangladeshis who had been trafficked to Kuwait.
Papul became a lawmaker as an independent candidate in the 2018 general election.