ACC to ask US authorities to freeze ex-chief justice Sinha’s house, bank accounts

Former chief justice Surendra Kumar SinhaFile photo

Bangladesh’s former chief justice SK Sinha’s house in the US and bank accounts will be sought to be frozen as the court accepted the Anti-Corruption Commission’s (ACC) appeal, said ACC secretary Mahbub Hossain at a press conference on Wednesday.

As a result, the investigating officer of the ACC will shortly submit a Mutual Legal Assistance Request (MLAR) to the US authorities to collect documents and freeze the bank accounts.

The ACC secretary said SK Sinha bought a three-storey house in the name of his younger brother Ananta Kumar Sinha with $280,000 in cash on 12 June, 2018. The money for the purchase of the house comes from The Roy A Group in Indonesia and Canada, which is a non-existent/cell company, he added.

The secretary also said When Ananta Kumar Sinha went to Daly National Bank of America with his elder brother Surendra Kumar Sinha to collect a cashier’s cheque of $157,090, SK Sinha informed the bank authorities in writing that he had received funds from a friend to buy a house in Paterson area of America.

Surendra Kumar Sinha, during his tenure as the chief justice of Bangladesh, earned illegal money in various ways, smuggled it to the US in various ways, including hundi, transferred the money to his younger brother’s account and with that, on 12 June, 2018, at 179, Zapper Street, Patterson New Jersey 07522, he purchased a house with $280,000 in cash, which violates the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, said Mahbub.

ACC deputy director Md. Gulshan Anwar Prodhan filed a case against SK Sinha under sections 4 (2), (3) of 2012 and section 5 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947.

As a result, the investigating officer will soon send an MLAR to the United States to collect various documents, and the freezing of the house and bank account.

In the meantime, the ACC secretary said the Special Court-4 of Dhaka sentenced 11 accused, including Surendra Kumar Sinha, to 11 years imprisonment and a fine for creating a false loan of Tk 40 million from the Gulshan branch of Farmers Bank Limited (now rebranded as Padma Bank Limited) and transferring the money to personal accounts through pay-order and money laundering.