Interpol finds Morshed Khan's Tk 14.15cr stashed in HK bank | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 16, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 16, 2008

Interpol finds Morshed Khan's Tk 14.15cr stashed in HK bank

Says money was laundered


The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) has detected a deposit of over Tk 14.15 crore by absconding former foreign minister M Morshed Khan and his son Faisal Morshed Khan with a Hong Kong bank.
Both the Khans have been convicted in several cases relating to corruption, hiding wealth information, land grabbing and criminal activities after the caretaker government came to power in January 2007.
The Hong Kong police, through the Interpol's Dhaka office, have informed the matter to the government and wanted to know whether Bangladesh wants to confiscate the money.
Sources said the Hong Kong police have uncovered that the money was laundered from the earnings of Citycell, a telco partly owned by Morshed Khan and his son.
Hasib Aziz, assistant inspector general of police (AIG) who is also in charge of Interpol in Dhaka, said the Hong Kong authorities detected 16 million Hong Kong dollars in the account. But they did not mention the name of the bank in the letter sent to Dhaka Interpol eight days ago.
The AIG said, "We have already forwarded it to the Bangladesh Bank, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), the Attorney General and other higher authorities of the government."
The ACC can now verify whether Morshed Khan and his son Faisal mentioned the amount in their wealth statements submitted to the commission.
Inspector General of Police Nur Mohammad told The Daily Star yesterday, "We have received the information through a letter sent by the Hong Kong Interpol. Since we are not the authority to make a decision in this regard, we have forwarded the information to the authorities concerned for action."
The money laundering law allows the ACC to confiscate the laundered amount with permission from the court. The ACC also can take initiatives to bring back the money.
The Bangladesh Bank and the Attorney General were informed of the matter as they can help the ACC in this regard.
CITYCELL
Citycell is the first mobile operator in Bangladesh that started its operation in 1989. Morshed and his son holds 35 percent stake in Citycell through three companies -- Pacific Motors, Pacific Traders and Pacific Industries Limited. Of the remaining, 45 percent is held by Singtel Asia Pacific Investments Pte Ltd, Singtel Consultancy Pte Lts and Singapore Telecom Paging Pte Ltd.
The remaining 20 percent is held by Far East Telecom Ltd registered in Hong Kong.
Morshed sold the 45 percent stake to Singtel for $118 million in June 2005.
Convictions
A special court on August 21 sentenced Faisal Morshed Khan to 10 years' imprisonment for amassing wealth illegally and concealing information in his wealth statement submitted to the ACC.
The court ordered confiscation of Faisal's ill-gotten wealth worth Tk 1.66 crore.
The court also fined him Tk 10 lakh, in default of which he will have to serve jail term for one more year.
Earlier on April 13, another special court gave Faisal seven years in jail for aiding and abetting Shahjahan Chowdhury, a former Jamaat lawmaker, in committing crimes and amassing wealth illegally.
Meanwhile, on August 4, Morshed Khan was sentenced to 13 years' rigorous imprisonment on charges of amassing wealth illegally and concealing information in his wealth statement to the ACC. Both the father and son are on the run.
Faisal, managing director of Pacific Motors and chairman of AB Bank Ltd, was also sentenced to eight years' rigorous imprisonment for acquiring wealth beyond his known sources of income and two years' imprisonment for hiding information about his wealth.
Since Faisal is absconding, the sentences will come into effect the day he surrenders or is arrested.
The ACC had filed corruption cases against Morshed Khan and his son Faisal Morshed Khan on charges of building up huge wealth through illegal means and concealing information on their assets worth Tk 91.34 lakh in statements to the watchdog.

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