A gold smuggling syndicate, which has recently come under the Criminal Investigation Department's (CID) radar, has been laundering money and smuggling the precious metal into the country evading taxes for years.
The financial crime unit of CID has filed a case against three members of the gang under the Money Laundering Act and is investigating the matter.
Of the accused, Rana Hasan and Md Saiduzzaman are from Munshiganj while the third of the trio, Md Nazmul Hasan, hails from Barishal.
The CID has information that this group has already siphoned off at least 31,200 Euro, 4,85,500 Dirham and 8,20,000 Saudi Rial, which in Bangladeshi currency is worth over Tk3.31 crore.
According to the CID, Rana Hasan has been laundering money with the help of many others working as carriers for a long time and the group uses the money to smuggle expensive goods and gold into the country.
On 1 April, 2018, the three aforementioned currencies were smuggled to Thailand through Nazmul Hasan who flew from the capital's Shahjalal International Airport.
Rana Hasan's friend Md Saiduzzaman and a number of unidentified foreigners helped in the smuggling by carrying the currencies to the airport. After Nazmul Hasan reached Thailand, the currencies were stolen from him. He then filed a complaint with the Thai police claiming the stolen money was his. Later, the police arrested a Bangladeshi named Anwar Hossain with the stolen currencies. Nazmul got the currencies back and the accused Bangladeshi was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment under Thai law.
Initial investigation revealed that Nazmul Hasan had travelled to Thailand more than once on a tourist visa. Saiduzzaman provided assistance and advice to Rana and Nazmul in smuggling money and importing goods illegally. The CID also received information that Saiduzzaman had withdrawn money from Rana Hasan's bank account more than once.
Although the two accused are currently abroad, Saiduzzaman, is believed to be in the country, according to a source related to the probe.
Sources said that the CID's financial crime unit will soon seek information from the Thai police to investigate the case.
"There was a case in Thailand involving the smuggling of various currencies. An investigation is underway into how much money was laundered through the accused and who else were involved," said Azad Rahman, Additional Superintendent of Police of CID's media wing.