A Dhaka court on Monday convicted and sentenced nine years imprisonment each to nine officials including the managing director (MD) Khwaja Soleman Anwar Chowdhury of Bismillah Group in a money laundering case.
The other convicts are group chairman Nawrin Hasib, directors Safikul Anwar Chowdhury, Sarwar Jahan, Abida Hasib, Nahid Anwar Khan and Khandaker Md Moinuddin Ishaq, deputy managing director Akbar Aziz Mutakki, general manager Mohammad Abul Hossain Chowdhury and manager Riajuddin Ahammed.
The court passed the judgement in absentia as the convicts are yet to be arrested.Judge Md Atabullah of Dhaka 10th Special Judges Court passed the order and also fined the convicts more than Tk 30 crore and asked them to deposit the sum to state exchequer within 60 days.
The Anti-Corruption Commission filed a dozen cases against 54 Bismillah Group officials in 2013 on charges of borrowing Tk 12 billion in fraudulent loans from several banks, money laundering and corruption.
The cases were filed by ACC Director Iqbal Hossain at Dhaka's Ramna, Motijheel and New Market police stations. The charges were submitted to the court after the investigations ended in 2015.
"There are many other cases against the Bismillah Group," said state ACC lawyer Mosharraf Hossain Kajol. "This is just the first verdict." The 2013 case filed at the New Market Police Station accused the suspects of laundering Tk 153 million. The court heard the testimony of 24 witnesses before making its decision.
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