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Dhaka Tribune

High Court orders ACC to probe allegations against S Alam Group

  • S Alam Group allegedly laundered $1 billion to different countries
  • Probe report expected within two months
  • Some companies legally sent $107,000 to Singapore, none owned by S Alam



Update : 06 Aug 2023, 02:22 PM

The High Court on Sunday ordered the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate allegations of smuggling $1 billion to different countries, including Singapore, against S Alam Group.

The court asked the ACC to submit a report within two months.

The High Court bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Khizir Hayat gave the order, including a suo moto rule, on Sunday after Supreme Court lawyer Barrister Syed Sayedul Haque Suman brought a news report to the attention of the court.

The High Court bench also asked Bangladesh Bank and its Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) to report whether the reported money was invested abroad with their approval or not.

ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan was present in the court. Deputy Attorney General Saifuddin Khaled represented the state.

Later, regarding the order, lawyer Sayedul Haque Sumon said: "Saiful Alam, owner of S Alam Group, and his wife have taken a huge amount of money out of the country in violation of its laws. I brought the matter to the notice of the court. The court then issued a rule in this regard as well as an interim order. "

In addition to issuing a rule in the order, the court also asked for an affidavit about the veracity of the report, published in The Daily Star. 

Earlier on August 4, a report on S Alam's money laundering was published in the English daily. According to the report, Saiful Alam, owner of S Alam Group, has set up a business worth at least $1 billion in Singapore. However, he did not take any permission from Bangladesh Bank to invest or transfer money abroad.

Bangladesh's central bank has so far allowed 17 companies to invest outside the country, but the name of this Chittagong-based business is not on the list. 

Documents also show that S Alam has bought at least two hotels, two houses, a commercial space and other assets in Singapore in the last decade and his name has been removed from the papers in different ways.

According to Bangladesh Bank records, $40.15 million has been taken from the country for foreign investment till January 10, 2023. However, this amount is only one-third of the $411.8 million of S Alam’s investments in Singapore since 2009.

Bangladesh Bank documents also show that so far several companies have sent $107,000 to Singapore through legal means, and not a single company is owned by S Alam.

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