The Rapid Action Battalion seized Tk 58, 41, 000, an illegal pistol with 20 bullets and five passports, among other things, from the house of Juba Mohila League leader Shamima Nur Papiya at Farmgate in the capital.
RAB-1 commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Shafi Ullah Bulbul in a press conference on Sunday revealed the information. They made the seizure during a raid on the house of Shamima.
The RAB official said that they handed over Papiya and her husband Mofijur Rahman alias Sumon Chowdhury alias Moti Sumon, their associates Sabbir Khandker and Sheikh Taiyaba to the Airport police station.
They were put to the police over possessing fake currency and trying to smuggle money abroad, he added.
The Bangladesh Jubo Mohila League, the young women wing of the ruling Awami League, in a press statement on Sunday said that they had expelled the organisation’s Narsingdi district secretary Shamima for violating its code of conduct.
The allegation against Shamima could not be independently verified as she was in police custody.
Shafi said that the Criminal Investigation Department would shortly start an investigation as to how Shamima and her husband accumulated such wealth without having any specific income sources.
The RAB official also revealed that they found a presidential suite at a Dhaka five-star hotel booked in Shamima’s name and received allegations from different girls that Shamima and her team forced them to get into sex trade.
He said that Shamima had booked the luxurious suite in Westin Hotel for 59 days between October 12, 2019 and February 13, 2020 and spent Tk 81, 42, 888 for their stay there but could not give answer about their sources of income.
‘One of their income sources was to force girls to engage in illicit activities. And they used to force them to do illicit work at different Dhaka hotels,’ said Lieutenant Colonel Shafi.
He added that most of the young women were brought from Narsingdi with promises of job in Dhaka and they were physically and mentally tortured if refused to be involved in sex services.
He said that the girls used to earn Tk 8,000 to Tk 30,000 monthly for their services.
The victims are traumatised and afraid of what happened to them, said Shafi, adding that they did not want to speak up to avoid reprisal from Shamima fearing that she would be released soon on bail.
Lieutenant Colonel Shafi said that she and her husband were also involved in recruitment fraudulence for police and railway jobs and earned money out of it.
Asked whether they found any connection between important persons in her social media photos and her activities, Shafi said that having photographs or selfies with people does not mean their connection.
‘Sometimes, public figures cannot ignore when someone tries to take selfies with them. But, it does not mean that they have crime nexus,’ said the official.
The RAB-1 commanding officer also said that the couple had two luxurious apartments on 28 Indira Road and four luxurious vehicles in Dhaka in addition to two Tk 2-crore plots in Narsingdi.
They have also invested Tk 1 core in a car showroom named Car Exchange near the FDC Gate and Tk 40 lakh in a car wash and auto solution shop in Narsingdi, said the RAB officer.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Politics