Laxmipur-2 Independent MP Mohammad Shahid Islam Papul and his family earned over Tk 355 crore from transactions with over 500 bank accounts, including FDRs, which was made primarily through human trafficking in the last five years.
The Criminal Investigation Department of police revealed the findings after filing a money laundering case against Papul, his daughter, brother, sister-in-law and four others with Paltan police station today.
“The amount was transacted mainly between 2016-2020 through more than 500 bank accounts including FDRs. CID’s primary investigation found that over Tk 355 crore was mainly earned by human-trafficking,” CID’s Financial Crime unit’s Assistant Police Superintendent Al-Amin Hossain, who filed the case, told The Daily Star.
Right now, over Tk 130 crore is held in these accounts, CID added.
Two overseas employment agencies JW Lilabali, owned by Papul’s sister-in-law Jesmin Prodhan and Job Bank International, which is owned by Papul’s brother Kazi Badrul Alam Liton, were also made accused in the case.
The case statement said that Papul’s associate one Sadikur Rahman Monir took Tk five to seven lakh from each victim for getting them jobs abroad through Job Bank International.
The CID found Tk 38.22 crore in Monir’s bank account which was transferred and withdrawn by Papul, his sister-in-law Jesmin Prodhan and daughter Wafa Islam at different times.
Although Jesmin and Monir were not affiliated with the business, Tk 17.48 crore was transferred to Jesmin’s account. Monir also transferred Tk 1.18 crore to Papul’s company Four Point Housing and Real State, found CID.
“The bank accounts of Jesmin were both directly and indirectly controlled by Papul who used to transfer the amounts to unknown people,” said the CID official.
The other accused in the case are Papul’s daughter Wafa Islam, his brother Kazi Badul Alam, sister-in-law Jesmin Prodhan, associate Sadikur Rahman and Job Bank International’s manager Golam Mostafa.
Papul is currently in jail in Kuwait. He is now facing trial in Kuwait on charges of human-trafficking and money laundering after being arrested there in early June.
Papul and a Kuwaiti citizen co-own a big recruitment company named Marafie Kuwaitia in Kuwait was shut down by the authorities there. He is accused of charging each worker, mostly Bangladeshi ones, up to 3,000 dinars for sending them to Kuwait.
A Kuwait-returnee victim Rubel Haq said that he paid Tk five lakh from job in the country, but was among 10 people who were sent back by Kuwait authorities.
Based on his allegation, CID arrested Golam Mostafa and he later confessed before a court that he took Tk five lakh to seven lakh with promises of jobs in Kuwait from many people on the instructions of Papul and Badrul. He then transferred the money to the brothers.
This is the first case CID filed against Papul and his family members and associates.
Earlier, a Kuwait-returnee victim Abdul Alim filed a human trafficking case against Papul with Motijheel police station on July 7.
Alim, from Naogaon, said that he paid Tk seven lakh for a job in Kuwait with salary of Tk 35,000. Upon landing in Kuwait, he was hired for a cleaning company owned by Papul. Alim and others were forced to 16-hour workdays and were paid only Tk 22,000-27,000.
The Anti-Corruption Commission, on November 11, filed the case against Shahid, his wife, daughter and sister-in-law for laundering Tk 148 crore.
“We will invest the amount of money and wealth he earned through human trafficking and siphoned abroad. We may request to freeze his accounts and also confiscate his wealth,” the CID official Al-Amin Hossain said.
Photo credit: Collected
News source: The Daily Star