'Casino Sayeed' illegally amassed Tk 250m

Former Jubo League leader AKM Mominul Haque SayeedFile photo

AKM Mominul Haque Sayeed, popularly known as Casino Sayeed, illegally amassed Tk 250 million from organised extortion and casino business (gambling), using his position in Jubo League.

The police’s criminal investigation department (CID) came up with the allegation in a case filed against Casino Sayeed under the Money Laundering Prevention Act.

He was the joint general secretary of Jubo League’s Dhaka city (south) unit. There are three cases against him under the money laundering act. 

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) said in a charge sheet that Casino Sayeed had laundered a total of Tk 7.8 million to Singapore, Oman, and Malaysia. However, the anti-graft body described the amount of his illegal income to be Tk 55 million and mentioned the issue of his political influence.   

According to the ACC charge sheet, an amount of Tk 3.4 million was deposited in Casino Sayeed’s two bank accounts in Oman between 26 November 2019 and 21 April 2020. He also bought shares in an Omani company, named “Anwar Al Khalij Al Amera.” It runs businesses at four locations in Muscat.

The CID filed two cases against Casino Sayeed while the ACC filed one. The ACC completed investigation and submitted a charge sheet in its case on 17  April last year while the CID filed charge sheet in one of the two cases.  

In its charge sheet submitted to the court on 9 September 2020, the CID said Casino Sayeed engaged his bosom friend ( Abul Kashem who was made accused in the case later) in the casino business at Mohammedan club in Dhaka and used to collect around Tk 500,000 daily. The case is now under trial. 

The police are yet to complete investigation into the remaining case filed on 30 May 2021. The CID said in the case that Casino Sayeed used to extort money from more than 12,000 shops and businesses operating on footpaths and markets in the capital’s Arambagh area. He deposited the earnings in the bank account of his business firm, Boishakhi Enterprise. 

He introduced the ‘110’  (a form of gambling) after taking over as the president of Arambagh sporting club. The CID also found that Salauddin and Asad Shah Chowdhury, two of his associates, deposited Tk 144 million to the Boishakhi Enterprise’s bank account after collection from the gambling. The two associates were also made accused in the CID case. 

Another associate -- Jamal Uddin, Jubo League leader of Motijheel -- was later made accused in the case as the CID found him depositing Tk 21 million to Casino Sayeed’s account. 

Mominul Haque Sayeed was joint general secretary of Jubo League’s Dhaka city (south) unit in 2019 when the government launched an anti-casino crackdown. He entered the illegal casino business in 2015 after being elected as councillor of ward-9 under the Dhaka South City Corporation, according to the police. He used to control the casino business of four clubs in the Motijheel area. 

Income from extortion and casino business  

AKM Mominul Haque Sayeed became a member of a Malaysian casino in April 2013. The CID found that he made big transactions to Singapore and Malaysia to buy casino equipment between 2017 and 2019. It, however, could not asses the total amount laundered by him. 

Madhabi Rani Paul, a CID inspector who is investigating the case, told Prothom Alo that they sent letters to Singapore and Malaysia to obtain information regarding the laundered money of Casino Sayeed. 

According to the CID, there was no remarkable transaction in the bank account of Boishakhi Enterprise before the launching of casino business. Later, a total of Tk 166 million was deposited in the account from 5 July 2018 to 19 September 2019. 

Mominul Haque along with his associates got engaged in organised crime, using his political position. He deposited Tk 120 million, amassed from Mohammedan club casino, to the bank account of Boishakhi enterprise. 

In a conversation with Prothom Alo, Casino Sayeed said no one can claim that he (Sayeed) took money from anyone by force. He also claimed to have no property, house and car in Dhaka.

According to the ACC charge sheet, Baishakhi Enterprise had a capital of Tk 6.2 million in 2010 and 2011. Reviewing the income tax files from 2010 to 2021, the ACC said Mominul showed an income of Tk 19.8 million for the period. 

But his income from legal sources was found to be Tk 1.2 million and there was no official document for the remaining income. 

The ACC told the court in writing that Mominul Haque Sayeed, after being elected as a councillor of Dhaka South City Corporation, has amassed movable assets of Tk 56 million beyond the declared income, through misuse of power, various irregularities and corruption.