Investigators looking into Monir’s SUVs | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 26, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:54 AM, November 26, 2020

Investigators looking into Monir’s SUVs

Investigators will now scrutinise how Monir Hossain alias Golden Monir had been using SUVs registered under names of current and former lawmakers.

They will also check the process of importing such vehicles into Bangladesh. Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized five vehicles from Monir's car showroom "Auto Car Selection" on the capital's Pragati Sarani, during a 12-hour drive on Saturday.

Monir could not show papers for three of the seized vehicles. He and his family members were using two other SUVs registered under names of two current and former MPs, intelligence sources said.

According to law, an MP cannot transfer ownership of their duty-free vehicle within five years of purchase.

An officer closely involved with investigation told The Daily Star that they handed over keys of the five luxury vehicles to Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) yesterday.

"BRTA will first inspect how those vehicles were imported and who brought them into Bangladesh. Then National Board of Revenue will investigate the matter," he said.

BRTA sources said one SUV (Dhaka Metro Gha – 157007) is registered under Sherpur-1 MP Atiur Rahman Atik, also parliament whip.

The registration was issued on August 20, 2017, mentioning NAM Bhaban on Manik Mia Avenue as the address. On the number plate, Auto Car Selection was mentioned along with the registration number.

According to intelligence sources, the MP brought the duty-free SUV and sold it off to Monir, who then used it himself.

The Daily Star phoned Atik yesterday, but he did not receive the call. Atik earlier told reporters that he kept the car at Monir's place, as he was using a government car.

Another vehicle (Dhaka Metro Gha – 174444) was registered under former Kurigram-3 MP Akkas Ali Sarker. The registration was issued on February 10, 2019, which also mentioned Auto Car Selection.

Akkas claimed he sent the vehicle to Monir's garage for repair.

Both the vehicles were seized from the parking area of Monir's six-storey building in the capital's Merul Badda area.

Recently, Monir presented a Prado SUV to an incumbent state minister to get away from a case filed against him in 2019, according to intelligence sources. The Daily Star checked the registration number with BRTA, which found it to be fake.

Talking to this correspondent yesterday, BRTA Chairperson Nur Mohammad Mazumder said they are helping investigation agencies with information related to the vehicles.

Meanwhile, Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday called Rab and told them that they want to collaborate with the elite force to investigate the irregularities and wealth of Monir.

Rab on Tuesday sent letters to three separate agencies -- NBR, BRTA and Criminal Investigation Department -- in this connection.

Monir was placed on 18-day remand under the detective branch's custody in three cases filed under Special Powers Act, Narcotics Control Act and Arms Act with Badda Police Station on November 22.

However, he must be in remand for 11 days instead of 18, as the seven-day remands in two cases were granted for the same period. 

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