Illegal money and gold, so far recovered and to be recovered, in drives against casinos, clubs, gambling, corruption and extortion across the country, will be deposited in the state treasury, said officials concerned. According to sources, in recent drives, Tk 300 crore and 730 tolas of gold along with huge materials of casinos and gambling, liquor as well as firearms and ammunition were recovered in Dhaka, Chattogram and other places.
Sources in the government echelons said, the drives against casinos, gambling, corruption and extortion will continue. Lt. Col Sarower Bin Kashem, Director of the Legal and Media Wing of RAB, said. “The drives against casinos and illegal money will continue and all the money and gold recovered so far in different drives against casinos and illegal money will be deposited in the state treasury through court orders.”
“Immediately after the recovery, the money and gold have been deposited with police stations concerned, and later, will be deposited in the state treasury following the court orders,’’said the RAB officer. According to sources in RAB and Police, drives were conducted at at least 25 clubs, 10 bars, houses of several leaders of Awami League, Jubo League and Krishok League and their offices, since September 18 in capital Dhaka, Chattogram and elsewhere in the country. During the drives, so far 250 people have been arrested with huge amounts of money, huge quantities of gold, several firearms, liquor and other drugs, touchstone statue and equipment for casinos and gambling.
Sources said, on the launching day of anti-casino drives, RAB personnel conducted anti-casino drives at five clubs--Youngman’s Club, Wanderers Club, Muktijoddha Club, Muktijoddha Krirachakra and Golden Club in the capital’s Motijheel and Gulshan. During the drives, separate mobile courts awarded jail to 182 people for their involvement in the illegal gambling activities. Besides, about Tk 40 lakh, huge quantity of liquor, materials for casinos and gambling were also seized.
Immediately after the drives at the casinos at Motijheel and Gulshan, RAB personnel arrested Jubo League leader Khaled Mahmud Bhuiya from his Gulshan residence with Tk 24 lakh, firearms and liquor in his possession. Another Jubo League leader, GK Shamim, was arrested on September 20 from his Niketan house with eight firearms, 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.
On September 24, RAB members arrested two Awami League leaders--Enamul Huq Enu and Rupam Bhuiyan—from their old Dhaka houses on charges of operating casinos at Sutrapur and Gendaria with Tk 5.05 crore and 730 tolas of gold worth around Tk four crore. On September 26, the RAB also arrested Lokman Hossain from his Monipuripara residence. RAB officials said, they have information that Lokman had laundered Tk 41 crore to Australia from where the amount will be brought back.
Meanwhile, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) officials on September said, they also will launch drives against illegal money. As per their moves, the ACC will ask for details of the property of those people, who have been found linked with casino and gambling. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday categorically said that the government’s ongoing drive against the corrupt and dishonest persons would continue.
She said, “We have taken stringent action against terrorism, militancy, corruption and drugs. I want to say one thing very clearly that if anybody earns money through dishonest ways, stern action will be taken against them, whoever they might be, even if they’re my party men.” The premier came up with the determined comments while addressing a civic reception accorded to her by US Awami League at Hotel Marriott Marquis in New York. Hasina said it becomes very difficult for the people and their children to lead an honest life when the society is crippled by persons who earn money through dishonest means.