Two members of parliament (MP), three former government engineers and several ruling party men among 43 are on the list of ACC investigating the illegal casino business, the ACC sources have said.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has already detected offshore wealth of sacked and arrested Jubo League leader Ismail Hossain Chowdhury Samrat.
The anti-corruption watchdog has confirmed Samrat’s participation in ‘Malaysia My Second Home’ (MM2H) programmme and traced his luxurious flat in Malaysia and banking transactions there.
On 30 September the ACC began an investigation into the wealth of the casino businessmen, according to the ACC sources.
On 14 October speaking to Prothom Alo, ACC secretary Dilwar Bakth said the ACC is carrying out an investigation against 43 people.
He said the anti-corruption authorities are probing each and every allegation of amassing wealth illegally through casino business and money laundering.
If needed, he added, the suspects will be interrogated.
People familiar with the investigation said new names are coming up every day. Now, the ACC is examining the information taken from the intelligence agencies.
Till 14 October, the ACC launched an investigation against Bhola-3 constituency’s AL MP Nurunnabi Chowdhury Shaon and parliament whip and Chattogram-12 (Patiya) AL MP Shamsul Hoque Chowdhury.
Five days into the raids against the casino business, Bangladesh Bank directed the authorities concerned to freeze accounts of Shaon and his wife Farzana Chowdhury.
On the other hand, Shamsul Hoque expressed discontent over the raids at casinos.
The ACC is also investigating three former engineers of Public Works Department.
The engineers are Rafiqul Islam, Abdul Hai and Hafizur Rahman.
Those who are under the ACC investigation are contractor GK Shamim, Shamim’s wife Shamima Sultana, mother Ayesha Khatun, Fakirapool Young Men’s Club president and Dhaka city Jubo League (south) sacked leader Khaled Mahmud Bhuiyan, another sacked leader Enamul Haque alias Arman, Jubo League former office secretary Kazi Anisur Rahman, Swechhashebak League president Molla Mohammad Abu Kawsar, and ward councilors AKM Mominul Haque alias Sayeed, Habibur Rahman alias Mizan, Gendaria thana AL vice-president Enamul Haque and his brother thana AL joint general secretary Rupan Bhuiyan, Kalabagan Krira Chakrar president and Krishak League president Shafiqul Islam alias Firoz, and Mohammedan Sporting Club acting director Lokman Hossain Bhuiyan, and online casino business chief Selim Pradhan.
Among them, GM Shamim, Khaled Mahmud, Ismail Hossain, Enamul Haque, Habibur Rahman, Shafiqul Islam, Lokman Hossain and Selim Pradhan have already been sent to jail.
Following the raids on casinos, ACC chairman Iqbal Mahmood had a special meeting with the chief of the elite force Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) director general Benazir Ahmed. Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) chief at Bangladesh Bank, Abu Hena Md Razi, also met the ACC chief over the matter.
It has been learnt that significant intelligence info were shared during the meetings.
The ACC sources said the RAB has obtained significant information interrogating the detainees.
The ACC authorities were provided information about those who are reportedly involved with the casino business, beneficiaries and patrons.
During the meeting, BFIU chief also shared with the ACC boss about suspicious banking transactions.
The ACC said it has been scrutinising the information. The actual list will be known once the investigation has been finished.
The people involved with the investigation said the actual list of the names will be longer.
*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo online edition, has been rewritten in English by Toriqul Islam.