Tk 25.35 billion laundered: Ex-minister Mosharraf’s brother accused too

Clockwise from top left: Sajjad Hossain Barkat, Imtiaz Hasan Rubel, AHM Fuad and Mohtesham Hossain Babar

Clockwise from top left: Sajjad Hossain Barkat, Imtiaz Hasan Rubel, AHM Fuad and Mohtesham Hossain Babar

The police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has submitted a charge sheet in court, against 10 persons including the notorious bothers Rubel and Barkat of Faridpur, accusing them of amassing wealth of around Tk 25 billon (Tk 2,500 crore) through illegal means.

The third person accused on the charge sheet is Khandakar Mohtesham Hossain alias Babar, the brother of former minister and Faridpur-3 member of parliament Khandker Mosharraf Hossain. The fourth accused is Khandakar Musharraf’s former APS, AHM Fuad. Fuad is also the former convenor of the district Jubo League.

Investigating officer in the case, CID’s assistant superintendent of police (ASP) Uttam Biswas, submitted the charge sheet on Wednesday to the Dhaka chief metropolitan magistrate’s court.

The other six accused on the charge sheet are Awami League’s Faridpur town unit’s president Khandakar Nazmul Islam alias Lebi, former general secretary of the AL town unit Asibur Rahman alias Farhan, district Swecchhashebok League general secretary Fahad Bin Wazed (Fine), former AL town unit joint convenor Kamrul Hasan (David), district Jubo League’s joint convenor Mohammad Ali (Minar) and the town unit’s joint convenor Toriqul Islam (Nasim).

On 26 June last year, CID inspector SM Miraj Al Mahmud filed a case against former general secretary of Faridpur town unit Sajjad Hossain alias Barkat and the expelled president of Faridpur Press Club, Imtiaz Hasan alias Rubel. The case accused the two brothers of amassing wealth amounting to Tk 20 billion (Tk 2000 crore) and laundering the money.

After around eight months of investigation, CID submitted the charge sheet on Wednesday. The charge sheet states that Barkat and Rubel amassed his huge amount of wealth with the assistance and support of the former minister’s brother Babar and APS Fuad. Other than the 10 accused in the charge sheet, 42 other associates of Barkat and Rubel have been mentioned. Of them, Khan Mahbub has passed away. The remaining 41 are under investigation.

The charge sheet states that in 1994, Barkat and Rubel left the area after being accused in the killing of Faridpur district Awami League publicity secretary Mohiuddin Khokan. Till 2008, none of them had any significant wealth. In 2009, Barkat joined Awami League and campaigned in the election on behalf of engineer Khandker Mosharraf Hossain.

By the time Khandker Mosharraf became a minister, Barkat had won his trust. And he used the minister to have the trusted local leaders expelled from Awami League. The then local government minister Musharraf Hossain’s brother Mohtesham Hossain and the minister’s APS HM Fuad created a sphere of power around him. The two brothers Barkat and Rubel used them to create a business of controlling and taking commissions for all tenders of Faridpur district roads, PWD, LGED, health, BRTA, the pourashavas, electricity, the zila parishad, facilities, the Water Development Board, the Tepakhola livestock market, the C&B terminal and the medical college hospital. They also made money from drug trade, extortion in the transport sector and taking commission for documents in the district registrar’s office.

They then began to forcefully grab land from hapless people, paying them pittance. They used the land as mortgage, inflating the value to take bank loans. They have outstanding bank loans of Tk 1.71 billion (Tk 171 crore). They used this wealth to buy huge amounts of property in Faridpur and Rajbari in an attempt to whiten their black money. Investigations have revealed 487 documents of 5,288 acres of land in the name of Barkat, Rubel, their wives, brother, father-in-law and mother. The value of this land is estimated to be around Tk 3.93 billion (Tk 392 crore 76 lakh).

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