Two years ago, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) banned 22 people from traveling abroad as part of an investigation into the acquisition of non-income assets known in casinos. Among those on the list was Patiya MP and National Parliament Whip Shamsul Haque Chowdhury. The letter was sent to the Special Superintendent of Police (SB) along with the Special Superintendent of Police (Immigration) on October 30, 2019.
A letter signed by ACC director Syed Iqbal Hossain at the time said that information was received that the persons concerned were trying to leave the country and go to another country. They are being asked to take effective measures to prevent them from leaving the country. At the same time, the ACC requested the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) for information on Shamsul Haque’s bank account along with a few others on charges of acquiring non-income assets and money laundering.
The ACC said that the preliminary investigation had found the allegations against the whip and others to be true. Dilwar Bakht, the former secretary of the ACC, told the media about the letter sent by the ACC banning them from leaving the country. “The ban has been imposed on those against whom the allegations have been found to be true in the preliminary investigation,” he said.
Shamsul Haque Chowdhury’s PA Nur Ur Rashid Chowdhury was also questioned at the time to investigate the allegations against him.
At that time, Shamsul Haque Chowdhury took a stand against the operation of the casino. He said, ‘There are 12 clubs in Chittagong. The clubs play in the Premier League. They cannot be destroyed. Their sport cannot be stopped. Does the administration pay the players five rupees? How do they play, where does the money come from, does the government give them money? Does not give. These clubs have to be run. ‘His statement was widely criticized.
Regarding the current status of the investigation against the whip, an ACC official said, “Allegations against Shamsul Haque Chowdhury and several others are still under investigation due to the Corona situation.”
It is learned that Shamsul Haque Chowdhury came to Awami League with a stumbling block from the politics of Juba Dal and Jatiya Party and got elected as a Member of Parliament. His wealth is growing at an unusual pace. Evidence of the build-up of movable and immovable property is found in the asset statement of the affidavit submitted to the Election Commission. During his tenure as a Member of Parliament, his business growth has increased at a ‘rocket speed’. His relatives said that he owned a lot of assets outside the affidavit mentioned in the affidavit. Accustomed to building mountains of wealth anonymously and living a royal life, this whip has shown the value of furniture in the wealth statement in the time of Shaista Khan. And in a very important commercial area like Riazuddin Bazar, a 900-square-foot four-storey building and a 3,600-square-foot building are priced at Tk 280,000. The price per square foot is 7.8 rupees! The value of the assets of such a ‘Shaista Khan’ period has been shown mainly to show the low value of one’s own assets.
Shamsul Haque Chowdhury was elected Member of Parliament for the first time in 2008. He did not have the financial means to run the election campaign. For this reason, he went to the polls with five and a half lakh rupees from his brother-in-law and Vaira and only 50,000 rupees. At that time he was so poor that he had only one thousand 369 rupees in cash. And his wife had no wealth. But in just 10 years after being elected as a Member of Parliament for the second time in 2013, the wealth of Shamsul Haque Chowdhury and his wife has increased by at least 1,546 percent. This information was obtained by analyzing the assets mentioned in the affidavit submitted to the Election Commission during the submission of nomination papers before the third phase of parliamentary elections.
He has given details of his assets by filing an affidavit in the last election of 2016. Reviewing the affidavits during these three elections, it is seen that the honorarium due as a Member of Parliament has been added to his income. In 2006, Shamsul’s wife was destitute. And by the ‘magic’ of being the wife of a Member of Parliament, she also owns a lot of wealth. Movable and immovable property has also been added to his name.
Reviewing the statement of assets, it has been seen that in 2008, Shamsul Haque Chowdhury was the owner of assets worth Tk 21 lakh 8 thousand 379. There was nothing in his wife’s name. Five years later, in an affidavit filed before the 2014 elections, his wealth increased by 530 percent. It was during this time that his wife became a millionaire. He spent the 2008 election on donations. And in 2014 he spent 20 lakh rupees himself. At this time, Shamsul Haque had deposited 40 lakh 12 thousand 36 rupees as bank. In 2008 he had a private car. He changed it in 2014 and used a car worth Tk 61 lakh 50 thousand. During this time he built the ‘Rajprasad’ in the village of Rashidabad in Patiya. The construction cost of this house built at a cost of several crores of rupees has been shown in the affidavit only 48 lakh 55 thousand rupees. During this time his wife’s estate also increased.
Wealth growth has been boasted in the 2016 affidavit, which is 1,547 percent in 10 years compared to 2008. During this time, the couple’s real estate has increased to Tk 32 lakh. The dollar is added to the movable assets of about 26 lakh rupees. The deposit in the bank was 92 lakh 33 thousand rupees. The wife’s bank deposit was 16 lakh 8 thousand 736 rupees. With the addition of bonds or debentures of both the husband and wife, the amount of electronic items and ornaments also increases with five lakh rupees.
In 2008, Shamsul Haque had only 20,000 pieces of furniture
Worth the money. In 2016, the wife’s furniture has increased by 60 thousand rupees. According to the affidavit, the couple has only one lakh rupees worth of furniture. But the palace of their village house, the furniture of the house in Halishahar area of Chittagong metropolis and the furniture of the house of Gulshan in Dhaka are dazzling and royal. Although the houses in the three places are decorated with very expensive furniture, he has chosen the period of ‘Shaista Khan’ incredibly to determine the price of these. During this time, the couple’s immovable property has increased by one crore 21 lakh 8 thousand 160 rupees.
The ACC has received allegations that the whip couple owned a large amount of assets in addition to the assets shown in the affidavit. Has smuggled huge amount of money abroad. In the light of these allegations, the ACC had sent a letter to the Special Branch of the Police (Immigration) two years ago to ban them from leaving the country. Although Shamsul Haque Chowdhury called to know about these allegations, he did not respond.