Sohel Taj yesterday alleged that his suitcase was broken into at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in the capital.
The former state minister for home and also son of the country's first prime minister Tajuddin Ahmad was on his way to the United States.
“Somebody at Dhaka Airport broke the lock on my suitcase and searched it without my permission. The suitcase contained some books on my father. I travelled back from Bangladesh to USA on the 22nd October 2017 and found my suitcase open. My name is clearly marked on the name tag,” Sohel, a former Awami League lawmaker, wrote on his verified Facebook page.
But airport officials have strongly denied the allegation.
Director of the airport Iqbalur Rahim said he had not received any formal complaint and suggested that Sohel's suitcase was broken into at Dubai during transit.
He further added that the suitcase was likely to be broken into in the US if it did not have a lock approved by the Transportation Security Administration of the US.
Iqbalur stressed that airport officials in Dhaka follow the rules of International Civil Aviation Organisation, which states that luggage or suitcases should not be opened without the permission and presence of owner.
“We don't open any passenger's luggage unless there are explosives in it. Sohel Taj is a respected person of the country… We would never break his suitcase lock without his permission.”
Sohel became state minister for home affairs after the Awami League came to power in 2009. But he resigned within six months following what he told his close aides was a row with a cousin of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Sohel left the country and started living in the US soon afterwards.
He also resigned as the MP in April 2012 and declared that he would no longer be actively involved in politics.