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1 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 31 October, 2019 11:10:45 PM
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Councillor Manju held; pistols, yaba seized

He is among the 24 Dhaka councillors under scanner for alleged links with extortion, drug dealng
STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka
Councillor Manju held; pistols, yaba seized
Rapid Action Battalion members arrest Dhaka South City Corporation ward councillor and Awami League leader Moinul Haque Monju (wearing helmet and bulletproof vest) from his office in the capital yesterday on charge of extortion and possession of firearms and foreign liquor (inset). Photo: Nazmul Islam

The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) yesterday arrested Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) councillor Moinul Haque Manju of Ward No. 39 after raiding his office. Law enforcers also seized 2 pistols,  bullets, liquor bottle and yaba during the drive. Sources revealed that Manju, along with 23 other councillors, had been under the scanner for his alleged involvement in extortion, drug dealing, and other criminal activities.

Manju is the first DSCC councillor to be arrested by the authorities. Locals distributed sweets outside Manju’s office to celebrate his arrest when RAB began its operation.

RAB had earlier arrested two Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) councillors—Habibur Rahman Mizan of ward no. 32 and Tarequzzaman Rajib of ward no. 33. Both were apprehended on charges of money laundering, extortion, and land grabbing, as well as for their involvement in casino business.

Manju was arrested around 12:30pm from his Tikatuli office after an extortion case was filed against him at Wari police station, confirmed Lt Col Shafi Ullah Bulbul, commanding officer of RAB-3.

Manju is an “honorary member” of the Awami League's Wari unit. He was also a member of the ruling party's Dhaka metropolitan committee.

Bulbul said there had been allegations that Manju was involved in illegal land grabbing, extortion, drug business, and gambling facilities.

Manju had been in the news at different times for alleged extortion at Tikatuli's Rajdhani Supermarket and

New Rajdhani Supermarket, land grabbing, and running a drug trade. However, he consistently denied the allegations.

He was in the spotlight again after the government launched a drive to eliminate corruption within the ranks of the Awami League and its affiliate organisations.

He is among the 21 DSCC councillors who have been served show-cause notices for their repeated absence from meetings. Bulbul said the councillor’s family lives in the US. Manju used to send his illegal gains to his family there.

“We are investigating whether a public representative can send money abroad using such methods. We are

also investigating how much money he has smuggled abroad,” he also said.

Bulbul further said that Manju had collected billions of taka through illegal extortion of businessmen and that he was engaged in drug abuse and drug trafficking.

“His illegal activities and illegal money-making came to the notice of the law enforcers. Soon after that, we launched a raid against him,” he added.

The RAB official said that during the operation, foreign liquor bottles, yaba tablets, two pistols, and a magazine were seized from Manju’s office. A raid was also underway at his residence.

Asked about the allegations levelled against Manju, Bulbul said that local businessmen claimed he had been extorting money from them for a long time. Currently, three cases have been lodged against Manju, one being a case of illegal extortion of Tk. 8 crore, he added.

“We will file another case against him under the Drug and Weapons Act,” he said.

Earlier, the Local Government Division removed AKM Mominul Haque Sayeed, a DSCC councillor of ward no. 9 and the Arambagh Krira Sangha chief, from his post for his absence from meetings of the city corporation and for travelling abroad without permission from the ministry.

According to sources, Sayeed fled to Singapore after his involvement in the illegal casino business was revealed.

The officials concerned said they were not merely monitoring 24 councillors, but also keeping a watch on the activities of other councillors as well.

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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