Rapid Action Battalion also detained 7 of Shamim's bodyguards
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has arrested Jubo League leader Golam Kibria Shamim and seized Tk1.80 crore in cash, Tk165.27 crore worth of fixed deposit receipts (FDR), and alcohol and firearms, from Niketon in Dhaka's Gulshan area.
During the raid at GK Shamim's residence on Friday morning, RAB also detained seven of his bodyguards and seized their arms.
RAB then took Shamim to his business office, GKB & Company Private Limited, also in Niketon, around 11am and conducted a raid there.
Shamim is the managing director and chairman of the company, a contracting firm.
With the raids they recovered a large amount of money, arms, and drugs, said RAB's Legal and Media Wing Director, Sarwar Bin Quasem.
He told reporters that they conducted raids at the residence and office of GK Shamim based on specific allegations.
"There are also allegations that the arms recovered during the drives were used in illegal activities.
"We are investigating the matter," he said.
RAB Executive Magistrate Sarwar Alam told reporters they recovered FDR worth Tk165.27 crore in the drives.
Of that Tk140 crore in FDRs were in Shamim’s mother’s name, and the rest in his name, he said.
"In addition, Tk1.80 crore in cash with 83 cheque books from 23 banks, US$9000, S$752, and 5 bottles of imported liquor and a pistol have been seized," Sarwar Alam added.
Asked about the allegations brought against Shamim, the RAB official said the law enforcement agency did not conduct any operation without specific allegations.
"Now, action will be taken against him (Shamim) according to the law. If proven innocent, he will be released," he added.
Asked about the source of money, the magistrate said: "We have information that the money came from an illegal source. A case will be filed under the money laundering act and he (Shamim) will have the opportunity to defend himself in court."
About the arms, the RAB official said that Shamim has been accused of using legal weapons for illegal activities. "There are some terms and conditions to use a legal weapon... he violated them."
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RAB sources said he was taken to the RAB-1 office for questioning.
Didarul Islam, personal secretary of the Jubo League leader, said Shamim's company is a first class contractor firm enlisted with the Public Works Department (PWD) under the Ministry of Housing and Public Works.
He claimed the huge amount of money recovered in the drive was not illegal.
"As we have various ongoing projects, the money is required to pay workers and for other purposes," he added.
Didarul said that RAB apprehended Shahidul, Murad, Delwar, Zahed, Sayem, Aminul, and Kamal who worked as Shamim's bodyguards.
Md Masud and Md Sujon who claim to be marketing managers of the company, told Dhaka Tribune that their company has a total of 22 ongoing projects in Dhaka city, worth around Tk6000 to 7000 crores.
Their projects include several construction projects for various government and semi-government organizations, including RAB, NBR, and the Secretariat, they said.
Who is Shamim?
Shamim is known as an influential contractor in the neighbourhoods of Sabujbagh, Basabo, and Motijheel. He made headlines for his influence in securing Public Works Department contracts.
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According to several Jubo Dal members, Shamim was an active Jubo Dal member. He later joined the Jubo League and identified himself as the cooperative affairs secretary of the organisation’s central committee, they said.
Shamim, son of Afsar Uddin Master from Narayanganj, lived in Banani DOHS.
'GK Shamim was never in Jubo League'
Juba League Chairman Omar Faruk Chowdhury has said that GK Shamim has never been a member of Jubo League.
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At a program in Dhaka, he said: "Who is GK Shamim? Is he holding a position at Jubo League? I did not give him any post. His name is not in any of the committees, anywhere. So why do you say GK Shamim is a leader of the Jubo League?
"I want to clarify that there is no leader in the Jubo League called GK Shamim or Ghulam Kibria Shamim," the Jubo League chairman added.