Banani Rape: CIID goes after Apan Jewellers, Raintree hotel
12:00 AM, May 15, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:23 AM, May 15, 2017

Banani Rape: CIID goes after Apan Jewellers, Raintree hotel

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Amid allegations that Ahemd Shafat, son of one of the owners of Apan Jewellers, bragged about being a gold smuggler to the victims of Banani rape, customs intelligence officials yesterday raided five stores of Apan Jewellers.   

Authorities of Apan Jewellers could not provide valid documents of all the gold and diamonds stored in its Gulshan, Uttara, Mouchak and Shimanto Square outlets, Moinul Khan, director general of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate (CIID), told The Daily Star.

The CIID is looking into the sources of the 286kg gold and 61 grams of diamonds and investigating whether any payable taxes were dodged, he added.

The university student, who filed a double-rape case accusing Shafat and four others, said Shafat bragged about being the top gold smuggler in the country when he raped her and her friend.

In yesterday's drive, the CIID sealed off one of the two outlets in Gulshan as it was closed during the raid. The store will be investigated later in presence of its staff, Moinul said.

Shafat and the others accused in the case also boasted about their wealth and claimed police would not touch them when the two girls warned that they would go to police, the victims said earlier.

The girls have been saying that they were forced to drink at gun point before being raped in two rooms of the hotel.

CIID officials assisted by Rapid Action Battalion members also searched The Raintree Dhaka in Banani and found 10 bottles of wine yesterday. The hotel doesn't have liquor selling licence.

Narcotics Control Department raided the hotel on Saturday, but found nothing.

“The hotel has so far collected Tk 8.37 lakh in VAT from customers, but paid only Tk 9,326,” Moinul said.

The CIID will file three cases under narcotics control act, customs act and vat law if the hotel authorities fail to give satisfactory answers about the VAT and liquor, the top official of CIID. 

Law enforcers have also seized a server of the hotel that record CCTV footage and sent it for forensic      analysis.

Earlier on Friday, the CIID formed a two-member committee to look into the sources of the wealth of Shafat and his father Dildar Ahmed Selim and wrote to Bangladesh Bank asking for the details of their bank accounts.

Moinul mentioned that there was no commercial gold import in the country in the last five years, and it seemed in primary investigation that there was a lack of transparency in Apan Jewellers' gold and diamond businesses.

Asked, Shafat's father Dildar said, "We are helping them [CIID] through providing all documents.”

Meanwhile, investigators of the double rape case yesterday interrogated several employees of the hotel at victim support centres of Dhaka Metropolitan Police.

An interrogator told this paper that Shafat was not giving much information about his friend Halim alias Nayem, the other alleged rapist who was still absconding.

Police sent some evidence to forensic laboratory for tests. 

Invited to Ahmed Shafat's birthday party on March 28, the two girls went to The Raintree Dhaka around 9:00pm.

After the party ended around midnight, Shafat and Nayem raped them in two rooms, alleged the girl who filed the case with Banani Police Station.

Shadman Sakif, Shafat's driver Billal and bodyguard Abul Kalam Azad were accused of assisting the rapists.

A joint team of police arrested Shafat and Shadman Sakif raiding a house in Pathantula area of Sylhet city on Thursday night while the three other accused were still on the run. 

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