The Bangladesh Bank yesterday froze the bank accounts of Jubo League leaders GK Shamim and Khaled Mahmud, along with those of their family members.
The National Board of Revenue, meanwhile, asked its central intelligence cell to scrutinise the tax return files of these individuals and look into their sources of income.
The NBR said equipment for the casino had been imported as 'sports goods'.
The Customs Intelligence have received primary evidence of a number of organisations' involvement in importing these equipment through false declarations. They have also identified two firms – Puspita Enterprise and A3 Trade International – who imported the equipment – and have summoned them for interrogation.
The revenue authority also plans to look into the clubs that ran the casinos - their income and expenditure and whether these clubs had been paying taxes regularly.
The Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit of the Bangladesh Bank froze all bank accounts of G K Shamim, Khaled Mahmud and their family members following an instruction of the central revenue authority yesterday.
There was reportedly over Tk300 crore in Shamim's bank accounts.
Economists raised questions about how Shamim, Khaled and their family members were able to transact and deposit such huge amounts of money without declaring their source of income with the banks.
Former deputy governor of the Bangladesh Bank, Ibrahim Khaled, said the irregularities that were taken in this case is a reflection of the helplessness of bankers.
"When unlawful casinos are operating openly under the eyes of law enforcers, petty bank officials can hardly do anything to prevent such irregularities.
"We are not clear whether this money is illegal since the banks, nor law enforcers, have revealed the source of income provided by these individuals," said Saleh Uddin Ahmed, former Bangladesh Bank governor.
However, Faruq Mainuddin Ahmed, managing director and CEO of Trust Bank said individuals like Shamim most likely deposited the money against work orders for government projects.
"If that is the case, then there is no legal bar against them depositing the money," he said.
The central bank asked the banks concerned to provide it with all necessary information about Shamim and Khaled's accounts within five days.
The tax regulator also asked the banks to provide it with the details of bank accounts of seven more individuals by today (Tuesday).
NBR Chairman Md Mosharrof Hossain Bhuiyan revealed this information while talking to The Business Standard yesterday.
He said, "We have asked the banks and the National Savings Accounts authorities to freeze the bank accounts of individuals who have been found by intelligence agencies to have accumulated wealth through illegal means, like running casino business."
The revenue authority will also call for freezing bank accounts of all other individuals who will be found involved in moneymaking in unlawful ways, he added.
Referring to law enforcers' ongoing drive against various sports clubs, which were operating illegal casino businesses, the revenue board chairman said, "Several big clubs across the country have the approval for selling liquors, but no club are approved to operate casino business."
The tax authority will take action against clubs which have been found to be involved in selling liquors and operating casinos unlawfully.
Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan also warned of taking stringent measures against institutions which are involved in importing casino equipment through false declaration.
"The customs law does not mention anything about the import of casino equipment so these equipment have been brought unlawfully," he said, adding that the customs intelligence has been tasked to review all information regarding import since 2009 and that all institutions involved in this unlawful import will face legal action.
Jubo League leader GK Shamim was arrested by the Rapid Action Battalion from his office at the capital's Niketon on Friday. Documents of fixed deposit receipts of more than Tk165 crore and about Tk2 crore in cash were confiscated from his possession.
The FDRs were opened in the name of Shamim's mother.
The seven individuals whose accounts details have been sought by the tax authority are- Nur Nabi Chowdhury Shaon, lawmaker from Bhola 2 constituency and the first vice-president of Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh; his wife Farzana Chowdhury; Ismail Chowdhury Samrat, president of Dhaka South unit of Jubo League; Proshanto Kumar Haldar; Sheikh Mahmud Zonaid from Chattogram, Sharful Awal from Chattogram; Zahura Alam from Chattogram; SM Azmal Hossain from Khulna; and Broz Gopal Sarker from Sirajganj.