BB freezes journo Sohel’s bank account, passport blocked

Publish: 9:55 PM, September 14, 2021 | Update: 9:55:PM, September 14, 2021

TBT Report
Bangladesh Bank (BB) has frozen the bank accounts of journalist Mizanur Rahman Sohel over-involvement with an online air ticketing platform. The special branch of police also blocked his passport at immigration.

Earlier on August 12, Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) directed all commercial banks to freeze the transaction aligned with the national identity of Mizanur Rahman Sohel; sources confirmed the matter. It is learnt, Sohel owns 20 percent share of an online air ticketing platform 24 TKT, which stopped operations amid dues to customers recently. Earlier in last year, the 24 TKT chief executive officer Pradyut Baran Chowdhury left the country, resigning from the post.

In May this year, there was an allegation of embezzling money against the chairperson Nasrin Sultana, managing director Abdur Razzak and finance director Asadul Islam who belong to the same family.

However, Sohel further claimed that he was not involved in any decision-making of the company. After pilling up the allegations, Sohel tried to reach the company directors over the phone and email but failed to get any response. Sohel filed a general diary with Kafrul police station in the capital on May 19 and forwarded the case to court on June 1 after serving legal notice on May 24.

The case is now under Police Bureau of Investigation. During this time, an agent filed a case against five directors. Meanwhile, Sohel, the fifth accused of the case, is now on bail.

However, Sohel surprised at the freezing of his bank account and passport. In reply to a query on Sunday, journalist Mizanur Rahman Sohel said there is no reason behind the freezing of bank account and passport.

“Since mid of last month (August), I experienced that the debit and credit cards didn’t work with transaction machine. I tried to communicate with banks a couple of times; however, they didn’t give any information. My passport was also frozen so far, I know,” he added.

Regarding the issue, requesting not to be named, an official of criminal investigation department said that there was run primary investigation and the authorities will take action after the investigative report. “To keep the accused inside the country, the authorities concerned have frozen the bank account and passport,” the official added.