The Criminal Investigation Department of police has launched investigations into money laundering charges against ruling Awami Juba League Dhaka south unit organising secretary Khaled Mahmud Bhuiyan, top government contractor GK Shamim and others following their involvement with the management of casino-like gambling centre.
The CID officials on Saturday said that they were currently collecting evidence related to four cases filed by the Rapid Action Battalion during their raids in last 10 days since September 18.
‘We are now collecting evidence related to their wealth and are completing the formalities…once the RAB completes interrogating them, we will start our part of interrogation,’ said Imtiaz Ahmed, the deputy inspector general of Organised Crime at the CID.
Law, justice and parliamentary affairs minister Anisul Huq on Saturday said that corruption was one of the major problems in the country and the government was conducting raids to implement its zero-tolerance policy against graft.
‘Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has taken a zero-tolerance policy against corruption and the ongoing drive against graft is part of the process to implement that policy,’ he said, according to Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha.
Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan, meanwhile, told reporters after a programme at Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka that it would be known soon whether Dhaka South Juba League president Ismail Hossain Samrat had been arrested or not.
Asked whether Samrat has been arrested or not he said, ‘You will see, you will see soon.’
Rumours run rife about the arrest of the reported casino kingpin. Law enforcers, ruling Awami League leaders and even the home minister did not specifically say anything about whereabouts of Samrat.
‘It’s not any clean-up operation rather it is that what requires to establish the rule of law,’ the minister claimed.
He said that RAB alone was tasked to deal with the ‘casino’-related issues so that none could be harassed.
On September 18, the RAB started sudden crackdown on gambling operations in the capital, shut down once-popular sporting clubs Youngman’s Club, Wanderers Club, Muktijoddha Chittabinodon Club, Muktijoddha Sangsad Krira Chakra and Golden Dhaka Bangladesh in capital’s Fakirapul, Banani and Gulistan areas.
The RAB on September 18 also arrested the owner of a gambling house at Fakirerpul Young Men’s Club, Khaled Mahmud Bhuiyan, from his Gulshan house, who is Awami Juba League city south unit’s organising secretary.
Since then, Khaled Mahmud has been in police custody for 17 days for interrogation in two of the four cases filed against him.
One of the four cases was filed under the money laundering act and only the CID among the police units is eligible to investigate the case.
In connection with the ‘casino’-related crime, the RAB later on September 20 raided the house and business firm of top government contractor and Awami Juba League leader SM Golam Kibria Shamim and Awami Krishak League leader Shafiqul Alam Feroz and both were remanded for 10 days each in separate cases.
The RAB filed three cases against Shamim, including a money laundering case which would be investigated by the CID.
The RAB officials, aided by an executive magistrate, on September 20 seized Tk 1.8 crore in cash and Tk 165 crore in fixed deposit receipts issued to Golam Kibria Shamim and his mother Ayesha Akhter from the second floor of his business building.
Shamim is the chairman and managing director of the engineering construction company GKB, enlisted with the government.
During the drive, the RAB-1 Lieutenant Colonel Sarwar Bin Kashem said that they confiscated the cash on money laundering charge.
On September 21, the RAB again conducted a drive and seized at least Tk 5 crore and 5 lakh in cash and 730 bharis of gold and six fire arms, among others, from the houses of Awami League’s local-level leader Enamul Huq Enu and his brother Rupon Bhuiyan, his associates and employees in the capital’s Gendaria, Wari and Sutrapur.
As of now, none of them was arrested but five cases were filed over the drive.
Two of those cases were filed against them under money laundering act with two police stations and the CID started investigation into them.
Meanwhile, a metropolitan magistrate on Saturday remanded three employees of Fu Wang club for eight days each for interrogation following the arrests made by the RAB in Tejgaon area.
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