Two policemen have been suspended for their involvement in helping 15 Nepalis to flee Fakirerpool Young Men’s Club during a drive against casinos on September 19.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Md Shafiqul Islam confirmed this at a meeting with the Crime Reporters' Association Bangladesh (CRAB) today.
The suspended policemen are -- Assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Mithu and Constable Dipankar Chakma, he said.
They took action against the duo after getting evidence against them from CCTV footage, he added.
Asked whether police personnel are involved in the casino business, the commissioner said it is under investigation. Actions would be taken if their involvement is found, he added.
He did not say anything about another intelligence agency official against whom allegation has surfaced in connection with the incident.
WHAT WAS IN THE CCTV FOOTAGE?
The CCTV footage of an apartment building in the capital’s Segunbagicha area showed that 15 Nepalis, who reportedly worked in casinos, fled from the building on September 19, when Rab conducted a crackdown in the casinos at Fakirerpool Young Men’s Club and Dhaka Wanderers Club in Motijheel area.
The footage showed that three plainclothes men with walkie-talkies entered the building -- “Summit Hasan Lodge” -- around 10:48pm on Wednesday night.
At the entrance, they introduced themselves as policemen and told the security guard to take them where the Nepalis were staying.
The guard, Uzzal, took them to the flat. Uzzal was not allowed inside.
The three left the building around 11:28pm with a bag.
Around 1:46am, 15 Nepalis were seen leaving the building with luggage.
Investigators have found direct or indirect involvement of about 100 foreign nationals, mostly Nepalis, in Bangladesh’s illegal casino business, which is currently facing a crackdown by law enforcement agencies.
They are either partners in the casinos, employees hired to operate the gambling machines or hired to manage the businesses, said police.
The country woke up to this underworld operation or casino when Rab conducted a crackdown on September 18, finding Las Vegas style gambling rackets dealing with crores of taka.