DB Probing Own Official: Independent body should do it

Detective Branch police will investigate a phone call that a former CID official's spouse made. She allegedly offered a "senior DB officer" a bribe in the amount of Tk 1.42 million so her husband can be freed from a robbery.

Rights defenders claimed that DB's announcement of yesterday about its investigation would lead to mistrust. They suggested that an independent investigation be conducted.

Yesterday, Nur Khan Liton, a prominent rights activist, spoke to The Daily Star and said that this was not the only instance of such allegations. The allegation must be investigated by an independent agency like the Anti-Corruption Commission, or other agencies to ensure trust.

CID sub-inspector Aksaduzzaman, almost 11 months after being found to be involved in a gang that robbed a migrant worker on his way from Dhaka to Dubai was arrested Wednesday morning.

The Daily Star and several other media outlets reported Tuesday on the leaked call. It reportedly contained negotiations between the family members of the CID officer in question and a "highly-ranking DB official".

According to the victim's robbery report filed at the Airport Police Station the next day, Md Roman, a migrant worker, lost Tk 4.78 million in different currencies during the robbery close to the capital's Kawla.

Yesterday, the DB announced that Aksaduzzaman, a robbery suspect in Rangpur's Mithapukur region, was arrested by the DB. He had fled into hiding on Wednesday following an investigation. Yesterday, he was placed under a five-day detention.

The Daily Star heard that a woman claiming to be the wife of SI claimed that she had given Tk 1.28 million to a senior DB official, and that she also gave Tk 14,000. to Kaysar Rizvi Korayshi, DB's Additional Deputy Commissioner.

Korayshi denied that the audio clip was fake and that the man on the phone wasn't him when he was asked about the matter. He claimed that Aksaduzzaman's wife had asked them to grant clearance to the SI and that they were trying frame Korayshi.

"An audio was leaked. The conversation concerns large amounts of money. We will investigate the case and look into all issues, including where the money came, who is involved, so that the merit of the case does not get compromised," AKM Hafiz Akter (DB), Additional Commissioner (DB), Dhaka Metropolitan Police told a press conference yesterday.

When asked why Aksaduzzaman wasn't arrested sooner, the DB official replied, "Aksaduzzaman had been dismissed earlier." In the case relating to the robbery, he was not charged. Later in our investigation, his name was revealed. To arrest him, we needed more information. All the other accused in this incident are still at large.

Seven people have been arrested by the DB, including the former CID officer as well as a former security officer in connection to the robbery.

Other six suspects were -- Mosharraf Hossain (45), Selim Mollah (42), Ripon Morol (55), Amir Hossain Talukder (56), Rizu Mia Sikder (25) and Hasan Raja (38) Some are currently being held on bail.

Two witnesses and one of the arrested persons gave statements to a Dhaka court under Section 164 at different times following the filing of the robbery case.

Amir Hossain Talukder was one of the arrested men. He told The Daily Star that Aksaduzzaman's wife had given him Tk 16.5 lakh in order to help Amir get out on bail.

"My brother sold Shariatpur a shop and arranged the cash. To get me out of jail, my wife gave the money the CID officer's wife. Amir said that she had a conversation with a DB official when I asked for proof.

Amir claimed that he was being framed in the case.

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