RAB finds ‘huge illegal wealth’ in raids on Papia’s homes

  • Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2020-02-23 22:26:05 BdST

The RAB has found “a huge amount of illegal wealth” in raids on the homes of Shamima Noor Papia alias Peu, a Jubo Mohila League leader expelled after her arrest for reported links to sex trade in luxurious hotel suits.

Papia and her husband Sumon Chowdhury alias Moti Sumon have made the fortunes through “trading in drugs and arms, extortion, recruitment fraud and other sorts of embezzlement”, according to the Rapid Action Battalion.

The elite police unit said it also found a foreign pistol, 20 rounds of bullet, five bottles of liquor, around Tk 6 million, five passports and some foreign currencies during the raids on their apartments in Dhaka and Narsingdi on Sunday.

Citing information gathered until then, RAB-1 commander Lt Col Shafee Ullah Bulbul told a news conference in Dhaka that the couple embezzled Tk 1.1 million by promising candidates jobs as police sub-inspector and in Bangladesh Railway.

The couple, based in Narsingdi, also embezzled Tk 3.5 million by promising illegal gas connection to a factory and Tk 2.9 million by promising a licence for a CNG refuelling station, according to Bulbul.

Forcing women to do paid sex is another source of their income, he added.

Jubo Mohila League, an associate body of the ruling Awami League for young women, expelled Papia as its Narsingdi unit general secretary earlier in the day saying she had breached organisational discipline.

Its General Secretary Apu Ukil confirmed to bdnews24.com that Papia was arrested at Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka on Saturday night.

The RAB also arrested Sumon and their two associates, Sheikh Tayeba Noor and Sabbir Khandaker, at the airport.

The force said it found seven passports, over Tk 200,000, counterfeit takas of over Tk 25,000, seven mobile phones and some foreign currencies on the four suspects.

After initial interrogation, it conducted the drives on a Presidential Suit booked by Papia at The Westin Dhaka, and two apartments of the couple at Rowshan’s Dom-inno Relievo on Indira Road in the capital early in the morning.

Simultaneous raids were also conducted on their ancestral homes in Narsingdi.

Besides the two apartments in Dhaka, the couple own two flats worth around Tk 10 million in Narsingdi and cars, according to the RAB.

They have invested Tk 10 million in a car shop named Car Exchange in Dhaka’s Tejgaon, and Tk 4 million in KMC Car Wash and Auto Solutions.  

Papia and Sumon also have massive money stashed awasy in different bank accounts, the RAB said.  

“They earned a huge amount of wealth in a short period despite their not having any particular profession. They could not cite the source of the huge income,” Bulbul said.

The couple run a gang styled “Q and C” in Narsingdi for extortion, drugs business and maintain control, he said.

The RAB official said initial investigations revealed Papia and Sumon used to spend most of their times at luxurious hotels in Dhaka.

They paid over Tk 8 million for staying in luxurious suits of Westin and other hotels in Dhaka for 59 days at different times between Oct 12 last year and Feb 13 this year, he said.  

After their arrest on Saturday, Bulbul said Papia had paid tens of millions of takas in hotel bills with the money she had earned by running illegal sex trade in a posh hotel at Gulshan.

“She always kept a presidential suite booked at the hotel. She paid around Tk 250,000 daily for her and her customers’ liquor and beer,” Bulbul said.

“Some young women regularly stayed at the hotel. They controlled Papia’s customers in different ways. They got paid monthly,” the RAB official said.

The process to bring criminal charges against the four related to counterfeit currencies, drugs, illegal arms, income beyond known source and money laundering was under way at Airport and Tejgaon police stations.