I do not have any undisclosed income: Soumen

Soumen Sengupta, son of former railway minister Suranjit Sengupta, said that he accumulated his assets including Sengupta Telecom legally.

"I do not have any undisclosed income. I am an IT expert. All my incomes are legal," he told journalists after being interrogated by officials of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Thursday morning.

The interrogation started off around 10:45am on Thursday at the ACC headquarters in Segun Bagicha.

Soumen came out of the office around 1pm and talked briefly with waiting journalists. He handed them a written statement clarifying his stance.

Ever since the cash scandal surfaced, there had been demand from various quarters that ACC look into the sources of assets of Suranjit's son, who recently purchased a telecom licence which required a deposit of Tk 50 million.

"Professional skill and efforts are my key investment. I have invested a very minimal sum during the company's formation. I have given the ACC all the records."

Soumen also claimed that news media were publishing fabricated information about his wealth, "These information are libellous for me and my family. I hope that all members of the responsible media would present the real truth and help everyone."

On Apr 19, ACC sent letters to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), telecom ministry, Bangladesh Bank and the National Board of Revenue seeking information on Sengupta Telecom.

On Apr 12, BTRC awarded international gateway, interconnection exchange (ICX) and international internet gateway (IIG) licences to 78 companies. Soumen was given an ICX licence.

About funding source of Sengupta Telecom and the Tk 50 million paid for the licence, Soumen said in his statement that there are six partners in the firm, who each has paid Tk 60,000, and the rest was borrowed from a sister concern.

He also expressed hope that all confusions would be cleared after ACC finishes its probe.

After the questioning, ACC chief Golam Rahman told journalists, "We will take legal steps at the end of the probe if we find any anomalies."

When asked how long the probe may take, Rahman said, "Initially, we hope to finish in 15 days. If the investigating officer is not able to finish within 15 days, another 15 days will be given."

The anti-graft chief continued that the decision to probe Soumen's assets came following a newspaper report about the company after the cash scandal surfaced.

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