Column
Money Laundering Case against Tarique

06 Feb 2016

#

The anti-graft body Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) brought charges against BNP Senior Vice Chairman and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s son Tarique Rahman and his close business partner Giasuddin Al Mamun in October 2009 and filed a charge sheet in a trial court in Dhaka accusing the two of laundering Tk 20.41 crore in between 2003-2007. ACC found that Tarique had realized the money in foreign currencies from different organizations and companies.

In exchange for the sums, he had promised to win them contracts using his clout as Prime Minister’s son. To conceal his identity while drawing the money, Tarique had used a supplementary debit card issued against his friend Giasuddin Al Mamun‘s account with Citibank Singapore.

 

On November 17, 2013, the trial court acquitted Tarique and gave him a clean chit while sentencing his friend Giasuddin to seven years in jail and Tk 40 crore in fine. The ACC filed an appeal on December 5, 2013 in the High Court challenging the trial court’s verdict.
On November 17, 2013, the trial court acquitted Tarique and gave him a clean chit while sentencing his friend Giasuddin to seven years in jail and Tk 40 crore in fine. The ACC filed an appeal on December 5, 2013 in the High Court challenging the trial court’s verdict.

 

On January 12, 2016 the High Court directed its Registrar to issue a notice asking Tarique , now in London, to surrender before the trial court by February 14 in the  money laundering case. Earlier another bench of High Court, on January 19, 2014 ordered Tarique to surrender before the trial court; but he continues to remain a fugitive from justice.

 

ACC has come to know that the Judge of the trial court, Motaher Hossen, who absolved Tarique, amassed a large fortune for himself through abuse of judicial power, earning sizeable ill-gotten wealth not consistent with his sources of income. It has filed a case against the judge in this regard. But the judge left the country on January 9, 2014 after giving his verdict absolving Tarique and is presently staying in Malaysia. Apart from owning a number of apartments in Dhaka’s posh Dhanmandi area and lot of land in his village Natore, he recently bought a home in London where his son is studying. ACC has come to know that a large sum of money changed hands prompting the judge to abuse his judicial power to absolve Tarique.

 

With the help of Singapore authorities, ACC carried out investigations and found Euros equivalent to Tk 1.19 crore, US dollar equivalent to Tk 19.02 crore and Pounds worth Tk 19.51 crore in Tarique and Giasuddin’s Citibank account in Singapore. ACC came to know that Hosaf Group Chairman Moazzem Hossen deposited $11.67 lakh (Tk 8.2 crore) as ‘power plant consultancy fee’ in the Citibank Singapore account on January 16, 2003. On August 1, 2003, Nirman Construction Chairman Khadiza Islam sent $7.50 lakh (Tk 5.25 crore) from OCC Bank in Singapore as the firm was trying to get the work of building an 80 MW power plant in Tongi. A Mayer Cie-Re paid $30,000 (Tk 21 lakh) into the Citibank account on September 26 the same year. Besides, $4.11 lakh (Tk 2.88 crore) was put into the Citibank account from unnamed sources.

BNP leader and former State Home Minister Lutfozzaman Babar (now sentenced to death in Chittagong arms haul case) worked as a mediator between Tarique and people interested to bribe him to gain favor at the cost of state coffers. ACC has also found out that Tarique accepted US $ 3.1 million (Tk 219 million) bribe to thwart the prosecution of a murder case against Sanvir Sobhan, son of the renowned Basundhara Group Chairman. Sanvir was an accused in the killing of Humayun Kabir, a Basundhara Group Director.

 

There are a number of instances of Tarique’s involvement in money laundering, embezzlement, extortion and bribery. During Khaleda Zia’s rule (2001-06), Tarique was running a parallel government from Hawa Bhavan (an alternative power center during the BNP regime) along with some of his trusted lieutenants and musclemen. Taking advantage of his mother’s position he became the most powerful and corrupt person in the country through sheer muscle power. Reports appeared that Tarique was profiting from corrupt surcharges on rice, sugar, compressed natural gas and other essential commodities. Reports also appeared about his investment in Malayasia, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

 

BNP leader and former State Home Minister Lutfozzaman Babar (now sentenced to death in Chittagong arms haul case) worked as a mediator between Tarique and people interested to bribe him to gain favor at the cost of state coffers.  ACC has also found out that Tarique accepted US $ 3.1 million (Tk 219 million) bribe to thwart the prosecution of a murder case against Sanvir Sobhan, son of the renowned Basundhara Group Chairman. Sanvir was an accused in the killing of Humayun Kabir, a Basundhara Group Director.

 

Tarique’s complicity in embezzlement of Tk 2.10 crore in collusion with his mother Khaleda Zia, by forming the fake Zia Orphanage Trust has attracted public notice with the High Court endorsing a lower court’s decision to run the trial proceedings against both Khaleda Zia and Tarique. On June 9, 1991 a grant of US$1,255,000, equivalent to about Tk 4.45 crore at that time, was transferred from the United Saudi Commercial Bank to Prime Minister’s Orphanage Fund that was created by then Prime Minister  Khaleda Zia shortly before transfer of the fund as part of the embezzlement scheme. Dishonestly earned money enabled Tarique to carve out a place among the top ten rich persons in Bangladesh with wealth exceeding US $ 1 billion.

 

Tarique’s sickness is not so serious that he cannot be treated in Bangladesh, warranting him to stay in London for indefinite period. Afraid to return home for fear of being imprisoned and prosecuted for financial fraud, corruption and abuse of power, Tarique has been camping in London since September 2008 on the pretext of medical treatment. He plans to return to Bangladesh only after BNP returns to power and withdraws all cases against him.




Video of the day
More Column News
Recent Photos and Videos

Web Statistics