Ex-Lands Minister’s Illegal Assets Search Writ Excluded From List

The High Court has dropped the writ petition filed by the former Land Minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury seeking investigation into the information about his huge wealth abroad which has come to the media.

On Sunday (July 7) the bench comprising Justice SM Quddus Zaman and Justice AKM Rabiul Hasan gave this order after the preliminary hearing of the writ filed in this regard.

Advocate Salah Uddin Regan heard on behalf of the writ in the court today. He confirmed the order to Jago News.

Earlier, Supreme Court lawyer Salah Uddin Regan filed a writ petition seeking to investigate the information that came to the press about Saifuzzaman Chowdhury’s huge wealth abroad. Saifuzzaman Chowdhury’s assets of 2,770 crores in the United States and 66 crores in the United Kingdom were added to this writ application in the relevant branch of the High Court on May 9.

Earlier, this lawyer had applied to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) seeking an investigation into the illegal assets of Saifuzzaman Chowdhury. As the ACC did not take any action, he filed a writ in the High Court.

Advocate Salah Uddin Regan filed this writ petition in public interest. The anti-corruption commission’s chairman, commissioner (investigation), commissioner (investigation) and secretary of the commission have been made defendants in the writ.

Lawyer Salah Uddin Regan said that on February 20, a daily newspaper published news under the title ‘Former Land Minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury’s empire in the UK’. On the same day, news about this was published in another newspaper.

This lawyer said that he filed this writ as the relevant authorities of the government did not investigate even after this news was published.

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He said, even after the news was published in the newspaper, it was asked why the defendants did not investigate the matter. The writ also sought to know why the non-search should not be declared without statutory authority.

The report titled ‘Ex-Lands Minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury’s empire in UK’ has also been attached to the writ petition.

It is said in that report, ‘Saifuzzaman Chowdhury Javed served as Land Minister for five years till last January. Since 2016, the company he owns has built a real estate empire in the UK by buying more than 350 properties worth around 200 million British pounds (Tk 2,770 crore). This figure is based on UK company house corporate accounts, mortgage charges and HM Land Registry transactions, according to the news agency Bloomberg.

According to a Bloomberg investigative report, ‘His empire spans from luxury apartments in central London to the Hamlets, the largest residential tower for the Bangladeshi community in England, and student accommodation in Liverpool. An analysis of nearly 250 Javed properties shows that nearly 90 percent are bought in new condition.’

In a press conference in Dhaka on December 26 before the last parliamentary elections, TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said, ‘There is evidence that at least one member of the government’s cabinet has multiple companies in his name abroad, which is not reflected in the affidavit. Six companies owned by the minister and his wife are still actively engaged in real estate business abroad. The total asset value of the companies is about 2 thousand 312 crores.