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Couple involved in gold smuggling, money laundering in guise of boutique house

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 4th June, 2022 09:32:39 AM
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Couple involved in gold smuggling, money laundering in guise of boutique house

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Syed Wasikul Haque and his wife Shahrukh Chowdhury Lina have allegedly been committing gold smuggling and money laundering abusing their boutique house.

They smuggle gold from Dubai, import clothes and siphon off crores of taka abroad through the boutique house named Lina’s Thousand Things.

As the law enforcers started investigation, the couple fled the country closing the boutique shop and suspending online operation of the online shop.

It is learnt that the couple used to import clothes made by Pakistan and India via Dubai in a bid to use illegal channels to evade tax.

Sources said airport immigration authorities detained Syed Wasikul Haque along with Omega watch worth Tk 10 lakh, huge gold bars and wine as he returned home from Dubai on February 6.

Although he was released following intervention of various quarter and written undertaking, he provoked a further investigation against him and his wife.

The authorities claimed to have got much information analysing his passport and credit cards.

His wife Chowdhury Lina is PR passport holder of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The couple frequently makes movement to and from UAE and smuggle gold and other valuables dodging the revenue.

In 2018, Shahrukh Chowdhury Lina imported gold and other products from Dubai and sent money through hundi, an improper channel of financial transaction.  They established Good Looks Garments Trading in UAE. The family members of Lina are hand in glove.

Similarly, the credit card and NID of Lina have produced much information on her bank accounts and dubious transactions.  

On December 22 last year, her husband purchased gold worth Tk 34 lakh from UAE and paid the bill through credit card. For buying huge gold, 2, 977 cents were refunded to his VISA card in tax refund.

He procured an Omega brand watch from Deira City Centre there at the cost of 34, 850 dirham on December 31. Later, he was detained with the watch and gold bars at Dhaka airport.

The investigators have found evidence of Tk 50 crore wealth of the couple so far. The properties include a duplex house at road 2 in Mirpur DOHS, a flat in Banasree,  a shop named Good Luck in UAE,  a shop in Gulshan Pink City, a shop in Police Plaza,  and three shops in Orchard Plaza in Dhanmondi.

Lina used to run her online boutique shop from Pink City but she fled abroad following investigation. She handed over the shop to its manager Mithun Roy who is running the shop with name Indian Creation.

Moreover, the couple got permanent residency in Dubai following huge investment. Washikul’s friend Zahirul Islam Khandker helped the couple launder money to UAE and erect business establishments.  

Having numbers of Bangladeshi passports blocked, the couple crossed the immigration using Antigua and Barbuda passports, sources said.

Before leaving the country, they sold 76 bhories of gold with the help of manager Mithun and caretaker Khalil.

A Dhaka court issued arrest warrant against the couple in connection with a case filed with Pallabi Police Station. Some other cases for committing money laundering and cheating are going to be lodged.