The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Thursday filed a case against Toufique Imrose Khalidi, editor-in-chief of online news portal bdnews24.com, for allegedly depositing Tk42 crore which have no "legal source" in different banks.
Gulshan Anwar Pradhan, deputy director of the anti-graft watchdog, filed the case at ACC's integrated district office Dhaka-1.
In the First Information Report (FIR) of the case, the ACC said Khalidi earned the money through illegal means by creating "fake documents."
Reaz Islam, CEO of LR Global Asset Management Company Limited – a New York-based investment holding company operating in Bangladesh – has also been implicated in ACC's enquiry.
The FIR says Reaz Islam was not sued, but instead, the ACC sent a letter to the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) as his money laundering offence is linked to the capital market.
The BSEC is entitled to investigate money laundering crimes related to the capital market.
According to the FIR, the value of share of bdnews24.com was shown at Tk12,500 by creating fake documents. But the real price of the share was Tk100, where Tk12,400 was shown as premium of each share.
The ACC said this valuation was unbelievable, and the first of its kind in the country.
Khalidi claimed that they had prepared the valuation with the help of Brac EPL. However, Brac EPL said that they were not involved in any valuation of shares of bdnews24.com.
The FIR adds that 40,000 shares of bdnews24.com were shown sold to Reaz Islam, the CEO of LR Global. LR global invested Tk50 crore in shares of bdnews24.com without the permission of BSEC.
Then Tk50 crore was further transferred to different bank accounts of Khalidi and a few other companies, reads the FIR.
Khalidi came under the ACC scanner after bdnews24.com declared its Tk50 crore investment from LR Global Asset Management Company Limited.
On November 26 last year, the ACC grilled Khalidi for five hours at its interrogation cell. One week later, the anti-graft body also quizzed Reaz Islam.
After a long enquiry, the ACC filed the case against this senior journalist.
Meanwhile in February, the ACC confiscated Tk42 crore with a court order. Among them, nine were fixed deposit receipts (FDRs) of bdnews24.com and 13 were Khalidi's personal FDRs.
Among the confiscated amount, there were Tk42 crores, including Tk24 crore in the name of Toufique Imrose Khalidi.
The Business Standard made several attempts to reach Khalidi over the phone, but he did not respond till the filing of this report.