Coronavirus fear delays ACC team’s Singapore visit

Ahammad Foyez | Published: 01:09, Feb 29,2020


Visit to Singapore by a team of the Anti-Corruption Commission would be delayed as they are avoiding immediate travel to Singapore for fear of coronavirus.

The two-member team plans to inform the superior authority that they will visit Singapore after the outbreak of coronavirus comes under control as the country’s health ministry detected over 85 coronavirus affected people, including five  Bangladeshis, there.

The commission on Sunday formed the two-member team led by its director Sayed Iqbal Hossain to travel to Singapore immediately to collect information on Bangladeshis who gambled in Singapore casinos, a commission director general told New Age.

He said that the commission took the initiative as the Singapore authority was yet to give any reply to the commission letter requesting the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau of Singapore to provide the list of Bangladeshis who gambled in Singapore casinos in the past five years.

The commission sent the letter on October 30.

In the letter, the commission said that in line with the government’s zero tolerance policy against corruption, the Anti-Corruption Commission, Bangladesh began an all-out drive against the corrupt people who have amassed illegal wealth  beyond their known sources of income and siphoned money outside Bangladesh.

‘Investigation has revealed that a number of unscrupulous people have transferred/laundered their ill-gotten money to different countries including Singapore,’ the letter said adding that the criminals arrested in this connection said in their confessional statements that they had smuggled/siphoned huge amount of money to Singapore to gamble in casinos there.

‘For the purpose of proper investigation of the case, Anti-Corruption Commission, Bangladesh needs to get the full list of people who gambled in casino in Marina Bay and elsewhere in Singapore,’ the letter stated.

‘It is reported that every person from outside Singapore has to submit his/her passport before entering into a Casino in Singapore,’ the letter said.

In the letter the commission mentioned Article 48 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption of which Bangladesh and Singapore are signatories.

The article requires that state parties shall cooperate closely with one another, consistent with their respective domestic legal and administrative systems, to enhance the effectiveness of law enforcement action to combat the offences covered by this convention. States parties shall, in particular, take effective measures against corruption.

In the letter the commission requested the Singaporean watchdog to collect the passport numbers of the Bangladeshi citizens who gambled in Singapore casinos in last the years and provide the list to the commission in the greater interest to free the world from corrupt people and practices.

On September 30, the commission launched inquiries into the case to detect the illegal wealth of people involved in the unauthorised casino operations and other illicit businesses following government’s crackdown on corruption and illegal money-making that began on September 18.

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