Expelled Jubo League leader Ismail Chowdhury Samrat laundered more than Tk219 crore in Singapore and Malaysia even though he does not have any significant assets in the country, says the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
The anti-graft watchdog said an ongoing investigation against Samrat, in a case of amassing illegal wealth worth more than Tk2.94 crore, found documentary evidence of money laundering. Therefore, the commission decided to submit the charge sheet to the court over money laundering.
ACC sources confirmed to The Business Standard that the commission meeting on Sunday approved the charge sheet against Samrat – the former president of Jubo League's Dhaka South unit.
The ACC said the former Jubo League leader laundered 3.65 crore Singapore dollars, or Tk219 crore, in Singapore from 2011 to 2019. The money was deposited at two casinos, including Marina Bay Sands, Singapore's most luxurious casino.
Later, he withdrew Tk2.03 crore from there, said ACC investigation officer referring to local and international sources.
In the meantime, Samrat made a transaction of 2.05 lakh Malaysian ringgits at a casino in Malaysia – which is equivalent to Tk48.58 lakh – in April, 2014.
The ACC has received information about his assets worth Tk3.40 crore in the country.
According to the ACC's investigation, the expelled ruling party's youth wing leader illegally amassed more than Tk223 crore, of which more than Tk219 crore was laundered, converted and smuggled out of the country.
Samrat came under the scanner over his alleged ties to the illegal gambling business after the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) busted casino operations in numerous clubs in the capital in September last year.
He subsequently went into hiding before being arrested in Cumilla on 6 October, 2019.
RAB later conducted a raid on Samrat's office in Kakrail's Bhuiyan Trade Centre with him in tow.
They subsequently recovered: a foreign pistol, 1,160 yaba tablets, 19 bottles of foreign liquor, two kangaroo hides, and "electrical torture equipment."
The RAB mobile court sentenced Samrat to six-month's imprisonment for possessing wild animal hides and another six months for having liquor.
After his arrest, RAB filed two cases against him at Ramna Police Station the next day. They had already pressed charges against him in arms and narcotics cases.
On 12 November last year, the ACC filed a case against Samrat alleging that he amassed illegal wealth of Tk2.94 crore. As part of the investigation of the case, the ACC came up with the latest action over money laundering as the commission found documentary evidence against Samrat.
Meanwhile, on 13 September this year, the financial crime unit under the organised crime division of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) filed a money laundering case at Ramna Police Station against Samrat, and his associate Anamul Hoque Arman.
According to the case statement and CID sources, Samrat travelled 35 times to Singapore, three times to Malaysia, two times to Dubai, and once to Hong Kong between 2011 and 2019.