• Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019
  • Last Update : 01:31 am

Did police warn Nepali men during the casino raids?

  • Published at 12:20 am September 24th, 2019
Nepali
Investigation by RAB has revealed that more than a hundred Nepalese nationals were involved in the operation of illegal casinos in the capital Dhaka Tribune

The CCTV footage was unearthed by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) leading the raids on illegal casinos and gambling dens in Dhaka

CCTV footage has surfaced that shows three people claiming to be police officers entering an apartment building in Segun Bagicha, Dhaka, just before 15 Nepali nationals hurriedly left there, shortly before the first raids on illegal casinos in the capital on Wednesday, September 18.

The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) is leading the raids on illegal casinos and gambling dens in Dhaka.

The investigation by RAB has revealed that more than a hundred Nepalese nationals were involved in the operation of illegal casinos in the capital, either as owners of shares in the business, or as experienced operators of gambling machines. All of the foreign nationals have managed to escape arrest so far.

On Wednesday, September 18, law enforcement agencies conducted raids on illegal casinos in Fakirapool Young Men's Club and the Dhaka Wanderers' Club, also in the Fakirapool neighbourhood, Muktijoddha Sangsad Krira Chakra in Gulistan, and Golden Dhaka Bangladesh, in Banani.

At about the same time as the raids, three people claiming to be police rushed to the Summit Hasan Lodge apartment building in Segun Bagicha at 10:39pm. They were not in uniform, but had walkie talkies in their possession.

The supposed police officers entered the building and stayed for 50 minutes before leaving, one of them with a bag in hand. Sometime after the three left, 15 Nepali nationals who lived in the building rushed out and also left with their belongings. 

Uzzal Mia, a security guard at the apartment, told Dhaka Tribune that the owner of apartment 5/A on the fourth floor, lived overseas. The flat was rented by one Maksud Ahmed two months ago, at Tk40,000 per month.

Maksud had introduced himself as a Mohammedan Sporting Club official, and had said that six foreigners would stay in the apartment and their wives would join them in a month, according to the security guard.

Uzzal added that Syed Belayet Hossain who looks after the flat on behalf of the owner living overseas, asked Maksud to vacate the apartment when the foreigners’ wives did not join them at the stipulated time. As per the rules of the apartment owners association, bachelors are not allowed to rent flats there.

Before the foreigners could vacate the flat, the three people claiming to be plainclothes police showed up and asked to go to the flat on Wednesday. Mamun, another security guard, was on duty with Uzzal who escorted the three individuals to the flat.  

Uzzal said the three had arrived at the apartment on two motorcycles, which they parked near the building before entering. One of them had a bag with him when they left about an hour after arriving.

At 1:40am, the foreigners who lived in the building started to leave with their belongings. They took the staircase instead of the lift.

Contacted, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Assistant Commissioner (Ramna Zone) Md Tanvir Hossain said police were aware that some CCTV footage had gone viral on social media and they were making inquiries to determine if the three individuals were indeed police officers.

Allegations have recently surfaced that the police knew about many of the casinos and gambling dens operating in the capital.

In July last year, Motijheel police sent a letter to Mohammedan Sporting Club authorities saying that the police had information on casinos in the club. Police had asked them to provide documents to verify if they had permission to run the casino.

On Sunday, law enforcement agencies conducted raids on illegal casinos at four sporting clubs near Motijheel police station: Mohammedan Sporting Club, Victoria Sporting Club, Dilkusha Sporting Club, and Arambagh Krira Sangha. No one was detained in the raids.

Police officials claim the raids on illegal casinos began only after they had gathered the necessary intelligence, and that they had no idea about any illegal casinos in Dhaka beforehand. 

 “Only the casinos were shut down after the raids, while the clubs were left open for sporting activities,” said Monalisa Begum, additional deputy commissioner (Motijheel division) of DMP.

"We seized the gambling machines so that they cannot not be used again," she noted.

She added that the raids were conducted in coordination with RAB.