Anti-Casino raids- scare for the corrupt | daily sun
Sunday 29th December 2019
The much-talked-about anti-casino raids of 2019 scared the corrupts of the country in all sectors from politicians to government officials, many of whom are now facing graft charges.
Casino businessmen were minting money illegally for a long time, right under the nose of police and administration without any hindrance.
They conducted more than 50 raids across the country when 275 persons were arrested for their alleged involvement in the casino business and corruption.
The list includes many leaders and activists of Awami League and its front organizations, Dhaka city councillors, contractors and businesspersons.
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) conducted 30 raids, the Narcotics Control Department one and police the rest.
Since the beginning of the drive, people have showed their support in favour of the drive. Whenever a person was arrested if they were public representatives, people held processions supporting the drive.
On September 18, the RAB raided at least five clubs in Dhaka city, arrested 182 people in connection with running casinos, gambling, and drug abuse, and sealed off at least two clubs.
Some of the clubs look like the luxurious casinos of Las Vegas, stocked with gambling equipments, expert operators, and liquor, but no one was ever aware before the drive.
Since then, whenever raids were conducted in either at houses or establishments of businessmen or party leaders, seizure of huge stock of cash, liquor, and arms were quite common.
On September 20, the RAB arrested SM Golam Kibria Shamim or GK Shamim, the top government-listed contractor in connection with tender manipulation, extortion, and running drugs and gambling rackets.
Shamim was arrested with bank fixed deposits or FDRs worth Tk165 crore, around Tk 1.8 crore in cash and a large stash of dollars.
During the ongoing drive against casino, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said the government would not allow operation of any illegal business like casino in the country.
On September 26, the RAB arrested Mohammedan Sporting Club Director-in-Charge Lokman Hossain Bhuiyan from his residence.
The raid on Lokman's residence came three days after another drive that shut down illegal gambling operations inside Mohammedan Sporting Club in Motijheel on September 23.
During the raid, police had seized two roulette tables, and nine betting boards from the sports organization.
They also found 12 walkie-talkies, knives, and money counting machines.
Dhaka South Jubo League President Ismail Chowdhury Samrat has been termed as the kingpin of the casino business.
On October 6, the RAB arrested Ismail Chowdhury Samrat, who was later expelled from the organization following his arrest.
Samrat's close aide and Jubo League leader Enamul Haque Arman were also arrested.
Later, the drives against casino business saw the arrest of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Ward No 32 Councillor Habibur Rahman Mizan alias Pagla Mizan, Ward No 33 Councillor Tariquzzaman Rajib and DSCC Ward No 39 Councillor Moinul Haque Monju are some known faces locally who were arrested by RAB.
Online casino businessman Salim Prodhan was also arrested.
The arrested persons have allegedly amassed huge amounts of money through illegal means and laundered money abroad. They have disclosed the names of members of parliament, politicians and government officials, among others, as their backers.
During the drive, the authorities have imposed travel bans on those involved with the illegal casino business and other corruption.
Besides, law enforcers drive Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) also launched investigations against anyone who has amassed illegal money irrespective of their political affiliation.