CID official suspended for 'taking Tk 45 lakh bribe'
An allegation has surfaced that a CID sub-inspector has taken Tk 45 lakh as bribe from the co-owner of a recruiting and travel agency firm in the capital's Fakirapool.
Following a media report on the allegation, the Criminal Investigation Department yesterday suspended SI Susanta Kumar Rahut.
The complaint came to light a couple of days after seven members of the Detective Branch of police were detained with a ransom money of Tk 17 lakh in Cox's Bazar on Tuesday. The seven, who allegedly abducted a local trader, were detained soon after they freed the abductee.
On Monday, the Anti-Corruption Commission filed a case against Subhash Chandra Saha, former Faridpur superintendent of police, and his wife for allegedly amassing Tk 8.36 crore illegally.
About the bribery, victim Anupom Banik, a co-owner of Mohammadi Trading International and Shahpur Tour and Travels at G-Net Tower, told The Daily Star that SI Susanta along with an informant went to Shahpur Tour and Travels on October 8.
The CID official seized around 1,200 passports and detained two staff at the office. He offered Anupom to release the passports and the detainees in exchange for Tk 1 crore, the businessman alleged.
Anupom said they negotiated the ransom amount down to Tk 50 lakh. The SI immediately took Tk 12 lakh and another Tk 8 lakh at night that day.
The following day, Susanta contacted Anupom and asked him to take back the passports. Anupom withdrew Tk 20 lakh from his bank account and borrowed another Tk 5 lakh from his acquaintances. Later, he along with a staff and a friend took Tk 25 lakh to the CID office in Malibagh.
After receiving the money, Susanta returned 1,100 passports, but seized 101. He subsequently filed a case against Anupom's brother Probir Banik, another co-owner of the firm, and its two staff under Bangladesh Passport Order, 1973.
Asked why he bribed the CID official, Anupom said, “Most of the passports contained visa seals and many foreign jobseekers would have been in great trouble had their visas expired. So, I agreed to bribe the policeman although I did nothing wrong.”
He also alleged that CID men threatened him to implicate in a human trafficking case and do whatever necessary to put him behind bars for life.
He said he feared harassment by law enforcers as he disclosed the bribery incident.
Talking to this newspaper, Susanta brushed off the allegations, claiming that those were not true.
Abdul Kahar Akand, additional deputy inspector general of the CID, confirmed that the SI was suspended.
Another CID official said suspension is an immediate action taken against a member of the agency if an allegation is raised. Further actions are taken against the member if investigations find the allegations to be true, he added.
Sources said the CID used to raid the offices of recruiting and travel agencies in the city's Fakirapool area for quite a long time and force the businesses to bribe them hefty amounts of money.
On October 19, when the news of CID men's presence at the G-Net Tower spread, businessmen and staff in the building thronged there and started protesting the harassment by the CID men.
Following the incident, Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agency (Baira) wrote to the Inspector General of Police AKM Shahidul Hoque, seeking time for a meeting.
The letter said some 50 manpower recruitment 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 conducting search, they first disconnect the CCTV cameras and seize the phones of the employees.
“Then they seize passports and threaten 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].”
7 DB MEN LAND IN JAIL
A Cox's Bazar court yesterday sent seven DB members to jail in connection with the case filed for kidnapping a businessman and taking Tk 17 lakh as ransom.
Senior Judicial Magistrate Mir Mosharraf Hossain passed the order after Md Shafiul Azam, inspector (operation) of Teknaf Police Station and also the investigation officer of the case, produced them before the court.
Six of them were detained with Tk 17 lakh ransom money in Teknaf on Wednesday, around half an hour after the seven DB men freed a local trader they had abducted on Tuesday.
The seventh DB men, who escaped the detention, surrendered before the law enforcers on Wednesday night.
The DB team kidnapped blanket trader Abdul Gafur, younger brother of Teknaf Municipality Mayor Moniruzzaman, from Cox's Bazar town and demanded Tk 50 lakh as ransom.
Hours after walking free, Gafur filed the case with Teknaf Police Station against the DB men. The victim in the case complained that the DB men abducted him and threatened to kill him if he failed to pay them Tk 50 lakh as ransom.
The seven are Inspector Yeasir Arafat; sub-inspectors Abul Kalam Azad, Golam Mortoza and Firoz Ahmed, Moniruzzaman; Assistant Sub-Inspector Md Nuruzzaman and constable Mostafa Alam.
OC Shafiul said police formed a one-member probe body, led by Afjurul Hoque Tutul, additional superintendent of Cox's Bazar police, to probe the incident.
Our Cox's Bazar correspondent contributed to this report.