Rab members yesterday arrested SM Golam Kibria Shamim, a top government-listed contractor who is known to be a Jubo League leader, on charges of extortion and tender business.
The elite force raided his house and office in the city’s Niketon in the morning and seized eight firearms, a huge amount of ammunition, Fixed Deposit Receipt (FDR) worth Tk 165 crore and around Tk 1.8 crore in cash, a large stash of US and Singaporean dollars and some foreign liquor, officials said.
Seven of his armed bodyguards were also arrested.
Shamim, also known as GK Shamim, is known to be an influential contractor of the Public Works Department and other government organisations.
Soon after his arrest, social media was flooded with photos where he is seen alongside senior Awami League leaders, ministers and former and current police and Rab officials.
But Awami League and Jubo League leaders were quick to disown him.
Some central Jubo League leaders said Shamim, 50, had no post in the youth front of the ruling party. They said Shamim was in fact the vice-president of Narayanganj Awami League. But AL leaders in Narayanganj said he was a nobody in their committee.
Shafaeth Hossain, marketing manager of his firm, GKB & Company (Pvt) Limited, told The Daily Star they were handling 15 big construction projects of the government at the moment involving around Tk 3,000 crore.
The projects include construction of the Rab Headquarters in Ashkona, the Revenue Building in Agargaon, the Artha Building and two 25-storey buildings at the secretariat, the National Institute of Traumatology Orthopedic and Rehabilitation, the Neuro Science Building, and the NGO Foundation in Agargaon, he added.
“We raided the house of GK Shamim as we had information that he accumulated some money and was involved in extortion and tender grabbing,” said Sarwar-Bin-Kashem, director (Legal and Media) of Rab after the drive.
Rab Executive Magistrate Sarwoer Alam said they had specific information of his involvement in money laundering and tender grabbing by brandishing firearms.
His arrest came just two days after Jubo League Dhaka (South) Organising Secretary Khaled Mahmud Bhuiyan was held from his Gulshan home for running a casino at a football club in the capital’s Fakirerpool.
Shamim’s Personal Secretary Didarul Alam said Rab members entered the house of his boss on Road-113 in Niketon around 6:30am yesterday.
Shamim, his family members and four of his bodyguards were in the house at that time. His three other bodyguards were also called in.
“Rab members wanted to see the licences of the firearms, which they produced,” said Didarul, who was also present there.
Around 10:30am, the Rab members took Shamim to his office on Road-5 in the same neighbourhood and recovered his firearms, the cash, FDRs, five bottles of foreign liquor and ammunition.
Shamim bought the five-story office building on 4.8 khatas of land for Tk 14 crore in 2017, said Mominul Islam, a former manager of the building.
Shahmim used to travel on his SUV, escorted by armed bodyguards. His vehicle was equipped with hooters that are normally used by police and ambulances. His bodyguards would scream at commuters through loudspeakers to clear the way, like police would do during a VIP movement, locals said.
Of the Tk 165 crore FDR, Tk 25 crore was in his name while the rest Tk 140 crore is in his mother’s name.
Rab said his mother had no mentionable business.
Sarwar-Bin-Kashem, the Rab director (Legal and Media), said they would investigate the allegation of extortion against him as well as the source of his income. They would also look into how he obtained so many firearms.
Sarwoer Alam, the executive magistrate, said firearms are allowed on certain conditions.
“It will be an offence if you use firearms breaching the terms and conditions,” he said.
RAID ON KALABAGAN CLUB
Rab arrested five men, including the president of Kalabagan Krira Chakra Club, on charges of possessing an illegal firearm and drugs.
As he was taken out of the club by Rab officers, the sporting club President Shaiful Alam Firoz told reporters that the firearm and the drugs did not belong to him.
Alam is also an executive committee member of the central Krishak League, a body of the ruling Awami League.
A Rab-2 team cordoned off the club around 4:00pm, said Lt Col Ashique Billah, commanding officer of the elite force.
Led by Rab Headquarters Executive Magistrate Gausul Azam, officers entered the club around 7:15pm. During an hourlong search, Rab found a firearm, three bullets and 800 yaba pills, he said.
They also found 572 sets of playing cards.
The arrestees would be handed over to Dhanmondi Police Station, he added.
DHANMONDI CLUB SEALED OFF
Rab sealed off the bar of Dhanmondi Club Limited on the 6th floor of Metro Shopping Mall last night for 24 hours.
Since the bar was closed yesterday, officers said they could not compare the quantity of liquors mentioned in its register with its actual stock.
The executive magistrate who led the Rab team decided not to break into the club, said Shahabuddin, company commander of Rab 2.
He added that the bar had licence, but there were allegations that people gambled in it.
“We warned them earlier,” he said.
Anti-Corruption Commission lawyer Mosharraf Hossain Kajol is the president of the club’s executive committee.
Meanwhile in Chittagong, law enforcers detained two people from a club called Hangout last night on suspicion that they were involved in gambling and drug abuse.
Police raided the club near Almas Cinema hall around 8:00pm, said Kotwali Police Station Officer-in-charge Md Mohsin.