Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has filed case against controversial film producer and Chandpur district’s Lakshmipur Model Union Parishad Chairman Md Selim Khan accusing him of amassing illegal wealth worth BDT 340.5 million and hiding wealth information.
ACC Deputy Director Ataur Rahman filed the case with the Anti-Corruption Commission Integrated District Office-1 on August 1, 2022.
According to the investigation report, allegations of amassing illegal assets worth BDT 340.5 million have been found against Selim Khan. Moreover, he has been accused of concealing information about BDT 6.70 million in his wealth statement to the commission.
On September 20, 2020, the Anti-Corruption Commission issued a notice to Selim Khan and his wife Shahanara Begum asking them to submit their wealth statements after finding preliminary evidence of illegal assets.
The enforcement team of the anti-graft watchdog conducted a raid on April 6 this year following allegations of misappropriation of around BDT 4 billion by showing a price of about 20 times higher than the government fixed price for land acquisition of Chandpur University of Science and Technology.
However, Selim Khan could not embezzle the amount as the matter came to light, said the commission secretary.
On April 27, ACC imposed a ban on foreign travel for film producer and Lakshmipur Union Parishad Chairman Selim Khan.
Meanwhile, accomplices of Selim Khan have been publicizing on social media platforms claiming he has obtained permission from Bangladesh government for bringing-out a vernacular daily named ‘Voice Bangla’. Selim Khan also runs an IP TV named ‘Voice TV’ and an on-demand video streaming platforms (OTT platform). He also has opened a film-production company named ‘Shapla Media India Limited’ in Kolkata, India, where he has reportedly invested millions of takas. When contacted, an official in the central bank told this correspondent that for opening office in a foreign country, it is mandatory to obtain prior permission from the Bangladesh Bank. The official said, Selim Khan did not apply for any such permission.
A source familiar to activities of Selim Khan told this correspondent as his (Selim Khan’s) illegal activities of lifting sand from river bed and selling has been stopped following an order passed by the apex court, Selim Khan has been trying to re-start this business using his close aides. It may be mentioned here that, Selim Khan has been making more than BDT 7 million every day from this illegal sand trade.
Although the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has lodged case against Md. Selim Khan, another controversial film producer who took huge amount of loan from state-owned Janata Bank remains untouched.
According to Janata Bank sources, Crescent Group, a conglomerate of fraudulent companies owned by Aziz and his brothers owe over 3,600 crore Taka as defaulted loan. Although on November 2, 2018, Dhaka’s leading English newspaper The Daily Star quoted Abdul Kader saying, “We will get rid of loans if Janata Bank gets the money by selling off the property”, in reality the total movable and immovable properties and assets of Crescent Group won’t even cost more than two hundred crore Taka, meaning, the lending institution is not going to get the major portion of its investment back from this racket.
In a probe into Janata Bank, the central bank found that Crescent Group skimmed off at least Tk 765 crore in the name of exports from the state-run Janata and the BB from January 2017 year to February 2018. The central bank suspected that the sum was laundered. Even the group could not repatriate the proceeds despite making commitment to the bank of bringing back US$500,000, or about BDT 40 million, every week.
Janata gave Taka 684 crore to Crescent in advance against 653 overdue export bills. As of March 30 2019, Janata’s Imamganj corporate branch disbursed BDT 27.6 billion in loans to Crescent’s five companies, which was 98.4 percent of the branch’s total loans.
Meanwhile, Janata Bank could not hold the auction of the property of Crescent Group as the loan defaulters filled a Writ Petition against the auction a day before the last bid submission day on Wednesday and got a stay order. However, no bidder showed any interest in participating in the bidding as neither Janata officials nor Crescent Group high-ups could give the total market value of the mortgaged property and goods. Even Abdul Kader could not give the market value of the mortgaged property and goods.
Five firms of the group that owe money to the bank are: Crescent Leather Products, Crescent Tanneries, Lexco Ltd, Rupali Composite Leatherwear and Remax Footwear. Aziz, owner of film production company Jaaz Multimedia, is the chairman of Remax Footwear while Kader is the owner of the four other companies.
Anti-Corruption Commission in February 2019 filed five cases against 22 people including seven Crescent Group bosses and 15 Janata Bank Ltd officials on charge of embezzling around BDT 17.45 billion from the bank in the name of export business with forged documents.
The accused allegedly embezzled the amount in the name of five sister concerns of Crescent Group.
Of the amount, Crescent Leather Products Ltd embezzled BDT 5 billion, Crescent Tanneries Ltd BDT 680.34 million, Lexco Ltd BDT40.38 million, Rupali Composite Leatherwear Ltd BDT 4.54 billion and Rimex Footwear Ltd BDT 6.48 billion.
The accused Crescent Group officials are Crescent Leather Products Ltd chairman MA Kader, its directors Sultana Begum, also Kader’s wife, and Rezia Begum, Rimex Footwear Ltd chairman Abdul Aziz, who is also brother of Kader and owner of Bangla movies production house Jaaz Multimedia, and its director Rimex managing director Litun Jahan Mira and Lexco Ltd director M Harun-Or-Rashid.
The 15 accused Janata Bank officials are former Janata Bank general managers Fakhrul Alam and M Jakir Hossain, deputy general managers Kazi Rais Uddin Ahmed, AKM Asaduzzaman and Muhammad Iqbal, former DGM M Rezaul Karim, assistant general managers M Ataur Rahman Sarkar and SM Shariful Islam, senior principal officials Khairul Amin, Baharul Alam and M Magreb Ali, principal officer Muhammad Ruhul Amin and senior executive officers M Saiduzzaman, M Moniruzzaman and Abdullah Al Mamun.
The Group embezzled the money between 2015 and 2017, said Anti-Corruption Commission.
ACC assistant director Gulshan Anowar filed the cases with Chawkbazar police in the capital.
Although Crescent Leather Products Ltd chairman MA Kader (elder brother of Abdul Aziz) was arrested in 2019, while his wife and other members of the family been on run, Abdul Aziz had mysteriously skipped arrest and returned to Bangladesh in 2021 and been living at his residence in Mohammedpur area. Recently Abdul Aziz has announced several film ventures, one of which he claims to be jointly producing with Hollywood.
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