Sixteen casino kingpins, including Ismail Hossain Chowdhury Samrat, Khalid Mahmud Bhuiyan, and Enamul Haque Arman, have siphoned nearly Tk1169.30 crore out of the country, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has informed the High Court.
An investigation report filed by Md Humayun Kabir, special superintendent of police of the Financial Crime Unit of the CID, with the relevant unit of the High Court on Sunday said laundering of the money was linked to eight cases filed in 2019 and 2020.
CID officials said the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) of the central bank is trying to bring back the money siphoned out of the country and has so far retrieved nearly $34 million, it said.
Regarding the CID report, Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin Manik said, "The High Court ordered the CID to file the report which will be presented before the HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder on 21 October."
The court will give further directives after hearing the matter, he said.
According to the CID report, Ismail Hossain Chowdhury Samrat and Enamul Haque Arman laundered over Tk232.38 crore to Singapore, while another former Jubo League leader, Khalid Mahmud Bhuiyan, siphoned over Tk8.84 crore to Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia. Another Tk81 lakh was laundered to Singapore by Rajib Hossain Rana and Jamal Bhatara, and Tk83 lakh by Shariful Islam and Awlad.
Former councillor of Dhaka South City Corporation ward-9, Mominul Hoque Sayeed, has laundered over Tk 29.998 crore to Singapore and Malaysia, Shahjahan Bablu laundered Tk 21 crore to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), two unknown individuals laundered Tk 858.50 crore to the Philippines and Sri Lanka, of all of which, nearly $34 million has been retrieved. Five other individuals of Chattogram have laundered over Tk 40.85 crore to the UAE.
Following a writ petition, the High Court on 27 February wanted to know the names of Bangladeshi nationals who have money deposited in foreign banks including banks in Switzerland. The court also wanted to know what steps have been taken to bring back that money.
Regarding names that have surfaced in the Panama and Paradise Papers, the court issued a ruling asking why it will not order a probe against them. It was further asked by the court why the inaction of the concerned should not be declared illegal.
The High Court bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Mohi Uddin Shamim issued the order on Sunday after hearing the petition.
Fifteen respondents including the finance secretary, PMO secretary, commerce secretary, foreign secretary, home secretary, law secretary, ACC, and the Bangladesh Bank governor were asked to respond to the rulings.