Babar sued for taking Tk 21cr bribe
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has filed a case against former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar and five others for taking Tk 21 crore as bribes to save the Bashundhara Group chairman's son from murder charges.
Babar realised the bribe in cash, pay orders and cheques at different times between August 7 and September 13 last year in a way he had planned to keep the matter a secret and beyond anyone's notice.
A large part of the sum was carried in sacks to the former state minister's government residence on Bailey Road.
According to the first information report (FIR), Babar struck a deal of Tk 50 crore with Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan alias Shaha Alam for dropping the name of his son Shafiat Sobhan Sanvir from the charge sheet of a case in connection with the murder of Humayun Kabir Sabbir.
Sabbir, a director of Bashundhara Group, was murdered on July 5, 2006.
Babar was also charged with misappropriating power and cause obstacles to the investigation of the murder case filed with Gulshan Police Station on July 7. The case suffered a major setback during the tenure of the BNP-led four-party alliance government when Babar was in charge of the home ministry, the FIR said.
Sobhan stopped paying the bribe immediately before the expiry of the alliance government's tenure.
The other accused in the case are Sobhan, his sons Shafiat and Sadat Sobhan, Director of East West Property Development Pvt Ltd, a sister concern of Bashundhara, Abu Sufian, and Mia Nur Uddin Apu.
ACC Deputy Assistant Director Abul Kashem filed the case. The ACC has not appointed any investigation officer of the case as the FIR is yet to reach the commission's investigation section.
THE CASE STATEMENT
According to the FIR, on the day Sabbir's murder took place, suspected killer Sanvir fled to London taking clearance from immigration, a department under home ministry's supervision, fearing arrest as evidence was found regarding his involvement in the killing.
When the issue of Sabbir murder case was placed for discussion at the meeting of the home ministry's monitoring cell Babar postponed the meeting pretending not to have enough time, the FIR added.
The case started suffering a setback in the absence of any instruction from the ministry to the investigation officer.
Sobhan accompanied by Abu Sufian held an hour-long meeting with Babar in the latter's Bailey Road residence in August 2006 and agreed to pay the state minister Tk 50 crore as bribe on conditions of dropping his son's name from the charge sheet and stopping police investigation of the case, the FIR said.
As per Babar's instruction, Sufian was chosen for transporting the bribe money.
Sufian took instalments of Tk 3 crore on August 13, 14 and 17 in sacks and handed them over to Babar in the drawing room of his government residence.
Instructed by Babar, he handed over Tk 1 crore to Apu in Hawa Bhaban on August 20. Sufian also transported Tk 1 crore each day on August 21 and 22 to Babar.
Sufian drew Tk 14 crore in six days from August 23 to September 13 from the Bank Asia main branch and deposited the money in the account owned by Salimul Haque, director of Prime Bank, following Babar's instruction.
The FIR added that Babar called Salimul to his residence in mid-August and asked him to deposit Tk 1 crore in his account. Babar also sent Tk 4 crore more to Salimul for depositing.
The former state minister later deposited another Tk 14 crore in Prime Bank through Sufian. Fearing that the illegally accumulated money might cause problems, he gave the money to the government through Bangladesh Bank in pay orders, the FIR said.