Bank accounts of Khaled, Shamim, families frozen

All bank accounts of two detained underworld dons--Khaled Mahmud Bhuiyan and GK Shamim--as well as their family members have been frozen by the Bangladesh Bank. The Central Bank of the country froze all their bank accounts and suspended all kinds of monetary transactions through their bank accounts following attempts to draw a large amount of money from the accounts of GK Shamim.

According to sources, last Sunday morning, several cheques had been submitted to different banks to draw a large amount of money from the accounts of GK Shamim. But, sensing it suspicious, officials of those banks informed the Bangladesh Bank authorities and also sought suggestions. Later, the Bangladesh Bank issued the order freezing all the accounts of Khaled and Shamim as well as suspending all kinds of monetary transactions from their accounts.

Abu Hena Mohammad Razi Hasan, the chief of Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) of the Bangladesh Bank on Monday confirmed the decision of the country’s central bank. “The BFIU investigates allegations against any persons involving money laundering and terrorism”, said the BFIU chief and continued saying, “Bank accounts and monetary transactions of those arrested recently are being verified.”

He also said that during investigations into cases filed against them, money could only be deposited into their accounts, but they would not be able to draw any money from their accounts. Sources in the Bangladesh Bank said, the central bank authorities have already found Tk 300 crore deposited into several accounts of GK Shamim while investigations were on to find out money in the name of his wife, parents, their family members and other close relatives. The Bangladesh Bank authorities also have asked all the banks to supply all information regarding accounts of Khaled, Shamim and their relatives within the next five days.

Besides, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) also launched an investigation to verify whether Shamim and his business firm GK Builders had evaded tax and VAT. The Central Intelligence Cell (CIC) of the NBR is carrying out the investigation. The NBR officials said, the CIC launched investigation against GK Shamim at the directives from the upper echelons of the government.

Shamim, who is the Cooperative Affairs Secretary of Jubo League was a leader of Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal, and allegedly had also secured a work order of Tk 75 crore for construction work on Chattogram University campus through fake documents. Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) personnel of Friday arrested GK Shamim from his office in the capital’s Niketan from where Tk 1.8 crore in cash, FDR worth Tk 165 crore, three firearms and a large quantity of illegal drugs were also seized. The next day on Saturday, Shamim was placed on remand for seven days in separate cases, including money laundering, arms and drugs.

Earlier on Wednesday, RAB arrested Khaled Mahmud Bhuiya, who has been expelled as the organising secretary of Dhaka City (South) unit of Jubo League, from his Gulshan residence. He was arrested following a raid at Youngmen’s Club at Fakirapool from where huge quantities of gambling materials, liquor and money were found. Khaled was a cadre of Freedom Party and Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal.

It should be mentioned that the government as well as its different law-enforcement agencies have launched massive cleansing operation countrywide against all kinds of corruption, gambling and illicit drugs. As part of the drives, a large number of leaders and activists of the ruling Awami League and supporters were arrested while around 100 gambling dens or centres have been sealed off or shut down.