Hifazat leaders spent donations for orphans, Rohingya on ‘luxury, politics’: police

  • Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2021-05-31 02:55:53 BdST

Police say they have information about how Hifazat-e Islam leaders embezzled and spent money donated for madrasas, orphanages or Rohingya refugees on “luxury and politics”.

As much as around Tk 60 million was transacted through the bank accounts of only one Hifazat leader, Mamunul Haque, in the past one year, says Md Mahbub Alam, a joint commissioner with Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Detective Branch.

More than 50 leaders and activists of the Qawmi madrasa-based organisation were recently arrested after deadly protests during the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan.

Some of them are also accused in cases over the mayhem in Dhaka’s Motijheel in May 2013. 

Mahbub said on Sunday the Hifazat leaders received the donations from abroad, especially the Middle East.

“The funds were meant for the construction of madrasas or orphanages, or helping the Rohingya refugees, but we have evidence that the Hifazat spent the money on their own luxury, houses, cars, and political activities.”

The investigators found some more details after the arrest of Monir Hossain Quasemi, the finance secretary to Hifazat.

“They indeed received some money for operational costs, but did not keep accounts. We did not see any transparency. In some cases, it was used to advance Hifazat’s own political agenda,” the police officer said. Hifazat claims itself to be an apolitical organisation.

The law enforcers found that a “huge” amount of money was embezzled and the leaders involved in the scheme used the funds also to corner their opponents in the group, Mahbub said.

“They don’t have the accounts of how the money was spent. It can’t be said exactly how much, but the amount is huge.”