Ahmed Akbar Sobhan
Ahmed Akbar Sobhan
|Other names||Shah Alam|
|Occupation||Chairman of Bashundhara Group|
Ahmed Akbar Sobhan (Shah Alam) (born on 15 February 1952), is a Bangladeshi business magnate. He is the chairman of the business conglomerate Bashundhara Group. He founded Bashundhara Group, which is operating in various lines of activities including real estate, cement manufacturing, paper and allied products, steel products, LP Gas, Shopping Complex, local and international trading.
In 1987, Sobhan started the East West Property Development (Pvt) Ltd., now known as Bashundhara Housing and is part of Bashundhara Group. He also owns a number of media organizations through East West Media Group.
On 19 April 2009, Sobhan signed a deal with Bangladesh Football Federation to provide 45 million taka to the federation in a sponsorship deal to support district level football. On 23 April 2009, he offered to build two stadiums for Bangladesh Football Federation. RAJUK was critical of the offer as the promised site was situated on protected wetlands.
In June 2010, Sobhan had a confrontational meeting with Abdul Mannan Khan, state minister of housing and public works, on Detailed Area Plan by RAJUK between the minister and land developers. Following the meeting RAJUK order the demolition of a number of structures owned by Bashundhara group next week.
On 26 February 2014, Natore District correspondent of Jugantor, owned by Jamuna Group, Mahfuz Alam Moony, sued Sobhan, Imdadul Haq Milon, and Naem Nizam over reports published in newspapers owned by Bashundhara Group. According to the suit the news reports were against Moony and the distilarry of Jamuna group.
Sobhan personally intervened to stop Star Cineplex from leaving Bashundhara City during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh as the cineplex saw its earnings decline and faced difficulties paying rent. In 2020, he oversaw the launch of a bitumen plant by Bashundhara Oil and Gas Company, a subsidiary of Bashundhara Group. He donated 100 million taka to the Bangladesh Prime Minister's office for COVID-19.
Sobhan is married to Afroza Begum with whom he has 4 sons. His sons are Sadat Sobhan (Tanvir), Shafiat Sobhan (Sanvir), Sayem Sobhan (Anvir), and Safwan Sobhan (Tasvir). He has numerous grandsons and granddaughters.
In October 2007, Ahmed Akbar Sobhan, his wife Afroza Begum, and their 4 sons were sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment on charges of tax evasion. During the 2006–08 Bangladeshi political crisis, Sobhan handed over the power of attorney for Bashundhara Group to a nine-member committee while he was absconding in London with his family. During the tenure of this committee, the Bashundhara Group paid more than Tk. 220 crore to the government as compensation for evading earlier taxes. This move was taken despite Sobhan's opposition and he retaliated by withdrawing the power of attorney for 4 officials of the nine-member committee. Another charge was that Sobhan and his family amassed wealth worth about Tk. 107 crore beyond their known sources of income and amassed Tk. 606.66 crore illegally while also concealing information about Tk. 14.17 crore. The charge sheet for the case mentioned that around Tk. 500 crore was whitened by the family. In December 2012, a case was filed against Sobhan, his son Sanvir, and 2 company officials for misappropriating nearly Tk. 40 crore from a businessman. The plaintiff (the chairman of a spinning mill) filed the case claiming that he was owed 3 plots from the East West Property Development Ltd. Sobhan and his son were acquitted in the case of three plots by Judge Erfan Ullah on 11 August 2014.
On 15 May 2010, assistant land officer of Shafipur union, Md Mukhlesur Rahman Khan, filled two cases against Sobhan and five others. In the cases he alleged that they accused were grabbing of government land, intimidating of government officials, and illegaling lifting soil while working on Mouchak City Project of Bashundhara Group.
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- "Star Cineplex staying at Bashundhara City". Dhaka Tribune. 9 September 2020. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
Thanking the mall authorities, Ruhel also said that the extension of the contract was successful after Ahmed Akbar Sobhan, chairman of Bashundhara Group, expressed his interest in discussing the matter with the Star Cineplex authority.
- "Bashundhara builds Bangladesh's biggest bitumen plant". The Daily Star. 23 February 2020. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
- "Basundhara donates Tk100 million to Dhaka to combat coronavirus". Saudigazette. 5 April 2020. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
- "Ahmed Akbar Sobhan". Ahmed Akbar Sobhan.
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- "Bashundhara chief sued for land grabbing, threatening". The Daily Star. 15 May 2010. Retrieved 30 April 2021.