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Monday, September 23, 2019

Money laundering by casino dons under investigation



Investigators are looking for money laundering by casino dons and affluent individuals who were regularly visiting the unregulated gambling dens in Dhaka, as cash transacted there is astounding.  
Dirty money is being poured to the gambling dens and it remained unreported in the banking channel raising concern over money laundering, according to investigators.
They said the money was believed to earn through fraud, sale of illegal drugs and extortion.
Law-enforcement agencies have already launched a major crackdown on Dhaka's illegal gambling dens, which were set up under the cover of sporting clubs.
On Wednesday, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) raided five establishments suspected of harboring illegal casino operations.
In the process, the elite force arrested 182 individuals, including Khalid Mahmud Bhuiyan, a turncoat leader of Jubo League, the youth wing of the ruling Awami League.
RAB also arrested another turncoat, Golam Kibria Shamim, known as GK Shamim, and seized huge money, weapons and drugs from his office in Niketan area of the capital on Friday.
A total of four cases were filed against Khalid,  while three against GK Shamim over narcotics, firearms, and money laundering charges.
Of the cases, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Police is investigating the money laundering charges brought against them.  
"We are preparing a list of individuals who were walking bulk cash into the gambling dens. At the same time, we are also looking for the trail of the money that the casino dons obtained from the gabling dens," a CID official told The New Nation yesterday on condition of anonymity.
As part of the investigation, he said, the CID will seek account information of the suspected dons from the concern authority. Help should be sought from Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) to detect suspicious transaction by them in banking channel.
"A list of the casino ringleaders will be sent to the central bank seeking their account information," he added.     
Investigators said that at least 60 underground casinos were operating in Dhaka city. There were gambling machine, liquor, and swirling of no less than Tk 120 crore every night.
"Cash is being brought here in full of cases every night with attendance of huge numbers of gamblers. Beautiful girls were engaged to provide escort services to them," one attendant at the Fakirerpool Youngmen's Club casino told The New Nation.
He said, "I saw many people became distress after loosing big cash on the blackjack tables."