The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) quizzed United Group chairman and three of its directors with regard to Panama Papers leak on Monday.
United Group Chairman Hasan Mahmood Raja denied ‘being named’ in the Panama Papers, terming it a ‘conspiracy’ hatched by his business competitor that led to his harassment.He was talking to journalists after coming out from the ACC headquarters on completion of his interrogation.
Raja, one of the Bangladeshi businessmen named in the Panama Papers for money laundering, has been interrogated for three hours from 9:00am to 12:00pm by ACC Deputy Director SMM Akhter Hamid Bhuiyan.
The commission also interrogated the three directors of the business group - Khondaker Moinul Ahsan Shamim, Ahmed Ismail Hossain and Akhter Mahmood - from 12:30pm to 4:00pm over the same allegation.
Raja said, “Our names are not mentioned in the Panama Papers. We’ve checked it. You can also visit the website. There’s nothing to interrogate us. This is just harassment.”
Investigators interrogated me over my personal issues and company matters, he said.
“Our business competitor intentionally published our names through a newspaper,” he added“ACC asked us to submit all the documents of our income tax to the commission. We’ll submit the papers,” he added
However, ACC secretary Dr Shamsul Arefin said ACC probes allegations based on documents and the commission will take next course of action after getting primary proof.
Apart from the four officials of United Group, ACC, on July 8, sent separate summons to three other businessmen named in the Paradise Papers. The three businessmen named in the Paradise Papers are Eric Johan Anders Wilson of WMV Limited, Farhan Aqebur Rahman of Intrepid Group and Mahtaba Rahman of Selcon Shipping Company. They will face interrogation on Tuesday.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) had published a large number of documents from the law firm, Mossack Fonseca, in Panama in 2016, known as the Panama Papers.
The dossier exposed how rich and powerful people are escaping taxes and making money through offshore companies.
ACC had declared a plan to probe at least one and a half dozen Bangladeshis named in the Panama Papers. The commission formed a three-member investigation team.
Before the investigation was over, the ICIJ had published 10.3 million of clients’ documents from Applebee, a law firm in Bermuda, towards the end of 2017.
Controversial businessman Moosa Bin Shamsher was among the Bangladeshis with alleged links to money laundering.