Foreign ministry will act against S Alam Group, if ACC requests: Secretary

Foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen
File photo

The foreign ministry will act on the investigation over transferring money abroad by S Alam Group owner Mohammad Saiful Alam, if the Anti-Corruption Commission makes a request.

Foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen said this while talking to journalists at the Foreign Service Academy in Dhaka on Monday afternoon after a meeting with US state department’s coordinator on global anti-corruption Richard Nephew.

Replying to a query on the initiative of the foreign ministry on the investigation into money laundering by the S Alam Group owner, the foreign secretary said, “We are yet to receive any such instruction. If the ACC request us, we will act as per our legal jurisdiction.”

English newspaper, ‘The Daily Star’ published a report with the title ‘S Alam’s Aladin’s Lamp’ on 4 August.

According to the report, S Alam Group owner Mohammed Saiful Alam has built a business empire in Singapore worth at least about USD 1 billion or approximately Tk 108 billion, although there is no record of him taking permission from Bangladesh Bank to invest or transfer any funds abroad.

"As of January 10, 2023, the central bank has cleared roughly about USD 40.15 million to be invested abroad globally, a Bangladesh bank document shows. The figure is 10 times less than what Alam has spent just to buy two hotels and one retail space – worth over USD 411.8 million – in Singapore since 2009," the report says.

"The Bangladesh Bank document also shows that just over USD 107,000 have so far been sent to Singapore legally by a number of companies, and none of them is owned by Alam," The Daily Star report says.