The Anti-Corruption Commission has initiated an investigation against 43 people involved in illegal casino businesses.
A senior ACC official said that they had obtained evidence against these 43 people to be involved as bigwigs in illegal casino operations, who included ruling party stalwarts and former and serving government officials.
Among the people in the ACC dragnet, 10 were arrested so far in the ongoing drive by law-enforcing agencies against the illegal casino business.
The commission collected the names of the 43 people from different sources and got hold of primary evidence of their involvement in the illegal business, ACC secretary Muhammad Dilwar Bakth told reporters at his office on Monday.
He said that the commission would investigate their sources of income, adding that a team from the agency was working on it and that the alleged offenders would face charges for their illegal wealth.
The ACC secretary, however, did not disclose the names of the 43 people detected.
But an ACC official shared with New Age 10 of the names.
They are suspended Juba League Dhaka south city unit chief Ismail Hossain Samrat, his close associate and the unit’s vice-president Enamul Haque Arman, its organising secretary Khaled Mahmud Bhuiyan, JL leader Golam Kibria Shamim, Krishak League leader Shafiqul Alam Feroz, Mohammedan Sporting Club director-in-charge Lokman Hossain Bhuiyan, Gendaria than unit Awami League vice-president Enamul Haque Enu and its joint-general secretary Ripon Bhuyan and alleged casino kingpin Salim Prodhan.
All these 10 people are now in jail or in police custody after they were arrested by law people during the ongoing drive against corruption.
ACC officials said that some former engineers of the Public Workers Department were also under their scanner.
The remaining 33 people are mainly from different associate and front bodies of the ruling Awami League, said the officials, adding that the alleged offenders were holding important positions in the organisations.
After GK Shamim was arrested, PWD additional chief engineer Utpal Kumar Dey was made OSD in connection with a bribery controversy involving Shamim, an influential PWD contractor.
Besides, the National Board of Revenue has asked for detailed information about PWD’s former chief engineer Md Rafiqul Islam and former additional chief engineer Abdul Hye.
On October 3, Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit sought details of all bank accounts of Juba League chairman Omar Faruk Chowdhury from the scheduled banks.
The NBR has brought under its scanner 23 more people including JL and AL leaders, business people, former high-ranking PWD engineers, their family members.
The revenue board served bank accounts search notices to banks and financial institutions seeking detailed information about all transactions made by them and the business organisations associated with them.
On September 30 the ACC launched an inquiry to detect the illegal wealth of the people involved in the unauthorised casino operations and other illegal businesses.
The commission in an emergency meeting on the day assigned its director Sayed Iqbal Hossain as the inquiry officer and its director general Sayeed Mahbub Khan as the inquiry supervisor.
On October 6 RAB arrested Samrat along with his associate Arman from Chauddagram of Cumilla.
Samrat and Arman were immediately sentenced by a RAB executive magistrate to imprisonment for six months for violating laws.
On September 18, law-enforcing agencies launched drives against illegal casinos and illegal bars in the capital and held several leaders of ruling Awami League’s youth front Juba League, among others, for their involvement in the casinos and other illegal businesses.
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