A former aide of convicted BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman, has illegally sent abroad Tk 300 crore out of Tk 340 crore he borrowed from some private banks, according to intelligence. Officials of Criminal Investigation Department of Bangladesh Police have claimed that Mia Nuruddin Ahmad alias Nuruddin Opu, ex-assistant private secretary to Tarique, has siphoned off this huge amount of money to Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore, England and Philippines.
He used accounts of 590 persons to send this money outside Bangladesh. A big portion of money was also used for buying votes in the last parliamentary polls in favour of BNP nominated candidates. CID has already started communicating with the law enforcing agencies of the countries concerned to verify the information. It will seek cooperation from the International police Organizations (Interpol), if necessary, the officials said.
Before the last parliamentary election, Opu also sent Tk 23 crore to Tarique Zia, elder son of jailed BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia. Opu was arrested by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) from the city on December 24 while he was distributing money to manipulate polls. RAB also seized hard cash amounting to Tk 8 crore from the office of United Corporation, owned by a former leader of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, the student wing of BNP.
Mollah Nazrul Islam, Special Superintend of CID, who is also the supervising officer of the case said, “Opu borrowed a total of Tk 340 crore from different private banks in the name of business but sent the bulk portion of the money abroad illegally.” We gathered information of different criminal activities of Opu while he was on police custody. CID came to know that Opu borrowed Tk 200 crore from the Banani branch of First Security Bank, Tk 90 crore from the Gulshan branch of Union Bank and Tk 50 crore from SIBL bank, he added.
He obtained all these loans for doing business but did not properly invest the money in his business, Mollah Nazrul mentioned. He remitted the money to foreign countries in the guise of RMG, gold and money exchange businesses. He gave Tarique Zia Tk 23 crore before the last parliamentary election. He also used the money to buy votes for some BNP men, police said.
A CID official told media that during the interrogation Opu admitted that most of the money he sent to Dubai was remitted through Hundi. There is a strong criminal group in Dubai. The criminal group is also involved in gold smuggling. Opu told CID that after getting bank loan, he instructed his 590 close associates to open bank accounts. CID have already grilled 250 persons in this connection. They will also quiz others. Most of them are Hundi businessmen.
CID found evidences against these 290 persons of keeping regular contacts with some money exchange offices in Dubai. CID came to know that an influential group helped Opu get such huge amount of loan. Among them, there are some board members of some banks and some politicians. Some Jamaat-Shibir leaders are also helping Opu by giving security of the money.
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