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Kuwait human trafficking: ACC issues travel ban on MP Papul’s family

  • Published at 11:12 pm June 17th, 2020
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File photo of the Anti Corruption Commission building Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The letter signed by ACC Deputy Director Md Salahuddin was sent to the Special Branch of Police and Department of Immigration on Wednesday

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has imposed a travel ban on 4 people including Member of Parliament (MP) Mohammad Shahid Islam, also known as Papul, and three of his family members over allegations of their involvement in human trafficking to Kuwait and other countries.

The letter signed by ACC Deputy Director Md Salahuddin was sent to the Special Branch of Police and Department of Immigration on Wednesday, ACC Director Syed Iqbal Hossain confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune.

The letter stated that the accused may try to leave the country, and therefore the concerned authorities are asked to take effective measures to make sure they cannot flee.

The letter also stated that if anyone is staying abroad right now, then he or she will have to inform that to the ACC.

Among the accused - Papul is now detained in Kuwait due to his alleged involvement in human trafficking.

Other accused are - the lawmaker’s wife Selina Islam, their daughter Kazi Wafa Islam, and Selina’s sister Jasmin Prodhan.

Papul, a member of parliament elected from Lakshmipur 2 constituency, is also the director of NRB Commercial Bank Limited.

Earlier on June 10, the inquiry officer ACC Deputy Director Md Salahuddin sent four separate letters to Papul’s Gulshan residence, asking them to submit requested documents to the ACC by June 17.

According to the letter, the national anti-graft commission had sought copies of original passports, National Identity Cards, TIN numbers, and income tax returns of the lawmaker couple and Selina’s sister Jasmin Prodhan.

However, they failed to submit the documents within due time. Now, the ACC will take action for non-compliance under Section 19(3) of the constitution, as mentioned in the letters.

As part of the investigation, ACC imposed a travel ban on them to accurately conduct the inquiry and sought information from the National Board of Revenue (NBR), Bangladesh Bank (BB), Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU), and other financial institutions, said ACC Deputy Director Md Salahuddin.

On February 26, the ACC launched an inquiry against Papul over allegations of amassing Tk1,400 crore by human trafficking to Kuwait and other countries.

A letter, signed by ACC Director Mohammad Abdul Awal, was sent to the lawmaker accusing him of various corrupt practices, including amassing wealth illegally, human trafficking, and unlawful loan allocation to customers.

The decision came 10 days after Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said the ACC would be asked to investigate the matter, reiterating Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s stance against corruption.

“Legal measures will be taken if there is any complaint of corruption [against Shahid Islam],” the Awami League general secretary said at that time.

According to media reports in Kuwait, MP Papul confessed during interrogation by Kuwait security authorities and revealed names of three Kuwait high officials who were involved in illegal visa trading and financial dealings.

On June 6, the Lakshmipur MP was arrested by Kuwait’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) from his residence in Kuwait City.

The Bangladesh mission in Kuwait reported the matter to the Foreign Ministry in Dhaka.

“We know nothing officially from Kuwait government and it’s hard to comment on this without an official response,” Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen told Dhaka Tribune on Tuesday.

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