Yaba baron Amin Huda and once a top criminal Tofail Ahmed Joseph have been quickly shifted to jail following newspaper reports on their staying in city hospitals for more than one and a half years on the pretext of receiving treatment.
They are now kept in normal cells, not even in the hospital inside Dhaka Central Jail.
Amin stayed in Birdem General Hospital for 18 months before being taken to the jail on Sunday morning while Joseph was in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University on and off over the last 20 months. He was moved to the jail yesterday.
“Following media reports, the jail authorities wrote to the hospital authorities and took them back,” said a jail official who didn't want to be named.
Doctors from the jail and the hospitals had suggested that the duo needed treatment for several diseases, which was why they were there for such a long time, said Senior Jail Super Jahangir Kabir.
“We have sent letters to the hospitals every month to know the updates.”
Joseph was not in the hospital for the last 20 months at a stretch, Kabir said.
“Whenever he was moved to jail, he fell sick and then again he was sent to the hospital.” Joseph was in jail for nearly two months during the period.
Regarding Amin, the senior jail super said quoting doctors that he had high diabetes, hyper tension and some other complications.
“Whenever he was taken to jail, he became seriously ill” and then he was sent to the hospital as suggested by doctors.
However, hospital staff and jail guards said both the prisoners didn't seem to have major problems. They at times moved freely inside the hospitals, enjoyed food taken from outside and were visited by friends and relatives.
Yaba trader Amin stayed in a VIP cabin at Birdem at his own expense with facilities more or less similar to five-star hotel suites. The highly expensive cabin overlooks lush green Ramana Park.
For the two prisoners, 24 policemen and eight jail guards were on duty in shifts every day at the hospitals, said Senior Jail Super Kabir. The central jail faced a shortage of jail guards due to this.
Amin was sentenced to 79 years' rigorous imprisonment in July 2012 along with his partner Ahsanul Haque Hasan in connection with the biggest ever haul of yaba tablets in 2007.
Joseph was arrested in 2005 in connection with the 1996 murder of Freedom Party Leader Mostafizur Rahman Mostafa.
He was first given the capital punishment by a lower court, which was later commuted to life-term imprisonment. Joseph already served 18 years in jail.