For past ten years, series of so-called joint-venture films were made by a controversial Bangladeshi film production company and its counterpart in Kolkata, where hundreds of millions of Taka were sent to India from Bangladesh through illegal channel. The Bangladeshi company managed permissions for producing films under “joint-ventures” being enjoying special favour from a very influential figure in the Ministry of Information. The Indian “counterpart” of these ventures had in reality no investment as the entire amount of money had been put by the Bangladeshi side. Because of extreme romance between the Bangladeshi company and the very influential figure in the Ministry of Information, it had no fear even in openly declaring of investing few hundred million dollars in South Indian film industry.
But it seems, good days of that company is already over as that ‘very influential’ person has already been ejected from the Information Ministry. Meanwhile, as per directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has started opening several files of corruption allegations as well as allegations of money laundering. A source inside ACC told this newspaper, during past ten years, the Bangladeshi film production company has invested at least two hundred crore taka in several film ventures, while it practically has failed in even getting back 25 percent of this investment.
Foreign Exchange Control Department of the Bangladesh Bank said, the Bangladeshi film production company did not take any permission or even had not applied seeking permission to transfer money to India.
Eskay Movies under scanner:
Kolkata-based Eskay Movies though was founded by Ashok and Himanshu Dhanuka in 1988, the company could not produce any film until 2005 (Chore Chore Mastuto Bhai (Remake of Victoria No. 203), directed by Anup Sengupta). Then its next film came after three years in 2008 (Bhalobasa Bhalobasa, directed by Rabi Kinnagi) and Dujone (Remake of Nuvvu Nenu), directed by Rajiv Kumar Biswas. But Eskay’s luck suddenly changed soon after it joined hands with a Bangladeshi film production company in 2010 (although the collaboration is officially shown from 2015). Onwards it emerged into one of the biggest cine production houses in Kolkata.
While ACC in Bangladesh already is going to begin investigations into the allegation of money laundering by the local film production company, authorities in India also are going to investigate financial dealings between Eskay Movies and the Bangladeshi company.