The large amount of money Rab seized from the flat of a businessman early on Wednesday was withdrawn from a bank to buy cotton for his textile mills, an employee of the businessman claimed yesterday.
The employee, wishing anonymity, dismissed the Rab claim that the Tk 10 crore in cash was kept there for financing subversive activities.
“The money is legal and has been withdrawn from a bank on April 18 to buy cotton,” the man, who claimed to be a close aide of the businessman, told The Daily Star.
This newspaper could not contact the bank to verify the claim as the bank was closed on the weekend.
The Rab claimed to have recovered the sum on Wednesday from the Eskaton flat of Mosharaf Hossain, managing director of Mosharaf Group and a Commercially Important Person (CIP). The law enforcement agency filed a case later that day with Ramna Police Station under the Anti-Terrorism Act, accusing the businessman of accumulating the money to carry out subversive activities.
Asked, Sub-inspector Mofizur Rahman of Ramna Police Station, who is investigating the case, said the investigation had just started and he would not comment until the claims were verified.
Mosharaf is now admitted at a hospital in the capital where these correspondents talked to the employee.
During Wednesday's raid, Mosharaf was not home. Two of his employees told reporters the next day that he went abroad a week ago, while one of his friends claimed that Mosharaf was taken in custody of an intelligence agency.
A guard at Mosharaf's house said the flat had been empty since Wednesday.
On March 8, a fire in a warehouse of Mosharaf Composite Textile Mills in Gazipur gutted a large portion of the cotton stored there.
The employee at the hospital said the mills were in an urgent need of raw materials.
“If we import cotton, we have to wait at least three months for the delivery. So we decided to buy cotton from local sources.”
After the warehouse fire Mosharaf handed an intelligence agency the papers related to his business after the agency asked for them twice, according to the employee.
The man could not say why the agency wanted the papers.
Mosharaf was admitted to a hospital on April 6 after he suddenly fell sick due to kidney problems, he added.
However, after the private bank's chairman was replaced, Mosharaf called a branch manager of the bank from his phone and requested that the money be handed over to his employees because the cash was needed for a “special purpose”, said the employee.
“We have an account with the bank. We rushed to withdraw the money as we feared that there would be a crisis after the bank's chairman was replaced and there would be no disbursement.
“How would we run the business where 6,000 workers are employed if we didn't have cash?”
When employees of Mosharaf's company went to the bank on April 18 to withdraw the money, the bank manager became suspicious and informed law enforcers about the transaction, he said.
“After the money was withdrawn, law enforcers went to Mosharaf's home the next morning and wanted to see the cash. They left after seeing the money.
The cash seized by the Rab days later was handed over to the Bangladesh Bank on Thursday.
According to sources in the apparel industry, Mosharaf owns three spinning mills and a dyeing and weaving factory and other businesses.
He has an investment of over Tk 1,000 crore in the sector and got status as a CIP three times consecutively for his export earnings.
He was elected chairman of Rampal Union in Munshiganj twice as a BNP-backed candidate. But he lost in the 2016 election.
His employee said they were in panic after the recent turn of events.