Eleven members of the Criminal Investigation Department took Tk 45 lakh in bribes from the owner of a recruiting agency in the city's Fakirapool last month, a police probe has found.
Based on the findings of their investigation, the police headquarters (PHQ) have recommended taking strict departmental actions against the cops, who hold ranks between inspector and constable.
The probe report, signed by Additional Superintendent Of Police Samrat Mohammad Abu Suffiun and ASP Mamunur Rashid at the PHQ discipline and professional standard unit, was submitted to the CID high-ups on Thursday, sources said.
The 11 policemen are CID (Motijheel division) inspectors SM Ali Azam Siddique and Abu Bakkar Siddique, sub-inspectors Susanta Kumar Rahut, Habib Ullah, Samir Ranjan Majumder, Beuty Akter and Jahirul Islam, Assistant Sub-Inspector Mainuddin and constables Nazmul Hoque, Saddam Hossain and Masud Rana.
The report further recommended transferring the cops to non-operational units immediately as they committed the crime while serving in an operational unit. Strict departmental actions should be taken against them following their transfer, it added.
Under the departmental action, a cop can be terminated, suspended, demoted, and his annual salary increment can be cancelled.
Talking to The Daily Star last night, CID Additional Deputy Inspector General Abdul Kahar Akand said he was yet to receive the probe report. He, however, said he would take action as per the recommendations of the PHQ.
On October 8, a CID team went to Mohammadi Trading International and Shahpur Tour and Travels at G-Net Tower in Fakirapool and seized around 1,200 passports. It also detained two agency staff at the office.
Sub-inspector Susanta offered Anupom Banik, a co-owner of the recruiting and travel agency, to release the passports and detainees in exchange for Tk 1 crore, Anupom told The Daily Star earlier. The businessman later negotiated the amount down to Tk 50 lakh.
After receiving Tk 45 lakh from Anupom, the SI returned 1,100 passports, but seized 101 and filed a case against the businessman's brother Probir Banik, also an owner of the firm, and the two staff under Bangladesh Passport Order, 1973.
In another incident on October 19, some CID officials went to G-Net Tower to conduct a drive. The businessmen and staff of recruitment agencies in the building started protesting the drive alleging that it was aimed at harassing them. At one stage, the protesters surrounded the cops.
A team of Motijheel police later rescued the CID men from there.
Following the incident, Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira) wrote to the Inspector General of Police AKM Shahidul Hoque, seeking a meeting.
The letter said some 50 manpower recruiting agencies were “harassed by the CID” recently.
“Some CID officials have carried out sudden raids at the offices of different recruiting agencies in Motijheel, Paltan, Fakirapool, Kakrail and Malibagh areas in between September and October 10. In the name of searching, they first disconnected the CCTV cameras and seized the phones of the employees.
“Then they seized passports and threatened businessmen to implicate them in cases under the Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act, 2012. They [CID men] misbehaved with the employees…. The harassment ends only after illegal transaction [of money],” read the letter.