AK Abdul Momen
AK Abdul MomenFile photo

Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday said the government will not spare anybody if found involved in human trafficking and money laundering, reports UNB.

"The government maintains zero tolerance against money laundering and human trafficking," he said adding that punishment is a must no matter which party they belong to.

The foreign minister made the remarks while talking to reporters at his office.

Responding to a question on Mohammad Shahid Islam, MP, the minister said steps will be taken as per the laws of the land if the Kuwait government informs the Bangladesh government officially.

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On 6 June, Kuwait's Criminal Investigation Department arrested Shahid on charges of human trafficking, visa trading, and money laundering.

On 20 June, the lawmaker from Lakshmipur- 2 constituency (independent), landed to the central prison of Kuwait.

The foreign minister said the Kuwait government is yet to inform anything officially about Shahid.

Momen said the government is trying to stop human trafficking and money laundering.

He said MP Shahid did not go to Kuwait using the government passport and he had been doing business in Kuwait for over 29 years. He is the managing director and CEO of a company there.

The Kuwait government arrested him not as an member of parliament of Bangladesh but as a businessman of Kuwait, said the foreign minister adding that he is probably a local resident of Kuwait.

Asked about allegations against Bangladesh ambassador to Kuwait SM Abul Kalam, Momen said his contractual appointment ends this month and he will come back to Bangladesh.

"We have finalised the next ambassador for Kuwait," he said.

The foreign minister said the government will look into it if the Kuwait government brings any allegation against the ambassador.

The public prosecutor of Kuwait had approached the central bank to freeze the bank accounts of Mohammad Shahid Islam.

The financial balance of the company amounts to about 5 million Kuwait dinars, including 3 million dinars as company’s capital.

Earlier, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) sought income tax documents of Mohammad Shahid Islam, MP, his family and his sister-in-law from the National Board of Revenue (NBR).

Deputy director of ACC Mohammad Salauddin sought the documents from NBR in connection with the MP’s alleged involvement in money laundering and accumulating illegal wealth.

Besides, it also served a notice to the election commission to get the electoral affidavit of MP Shahid and his wife Selina Islam.

“The ACC investigation against MP Shahid and his family is going on and the organisation will issue letters to different organisations seeking information about the MP which is a routine work. As far I know, restriction has been imposed on MP Shahid's family over going outside the country,” said an official at the ACC.

The ACC earlier requested the Special Branch of Police seeking restriction on MP Shahid and his family’s foreign travel.

Earlier, on 9 June, the ACC served notices to MP Shahid Islam, and his family members, seeking their wealth statements.

ACC assistant director M Salahuddin served the notices to Shahid, his wife lawmaker Selina Islam, their daughter Kazi Wafa Islam and Selina’s sister Jemin Akter.

They were asked to submit their copies of passports, National Identity Cards, TINs and income tax returns within 15 days.

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