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The meteoric rise of GK Shamim

  • Published at 12:34 am September 24th, 2019
GK Shamim
File photo of a police officer standing aside a microbus holding Jubo League leader Golam Kibria Shamim Collected

Shamim now owns a luxurious building in Banani DOHS and uses House 144 on Road 5 in Niketan of Gulshan as his office, to run GKB and Company Private Limited, his firm listed with the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI)

Born to a school headmaster in a lower-middle income family of Narayanganj, Golam Kibria Shamim, better known as GK Shamim, is the second oldest of three brothers.

His late father, Md Afsar Uddin of Dakshin Para village in Sanmandi union parishad of Sonargaon upazila, was a teacher at Harihardi Government Primary School in the upazila. GK Shamim’s older brother Golam Habib Nasim is reportedly engaged with the Jatiya Party in the capital.

Shamim is said to have left the village after completing his secondary school education (SSC) from a local college. Since then he has  reportedly been living in Bashabo and Sabujbagh of Dhaka.

Until the 11th parliamentary elections, Shamim was not much known to locals in Dhaka or in Narayanganj. However, he came to be known with his campaigning  for a local Awami League candidate.

According to sources, Shamim now owns a luxurious building in Banani DOHS and uses House 144 on Road 5 in Niketan of Gulshan as his office, to run GKB and Company Private Limited, his firm listed with the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI).

Dubbed a “highly influential” Jubo League leader, Shamim is also an influential contractor primarily in Bashabo, Sabujbagh, and Motijheel of Dhaka. He reportedly controls a number of Public Works Department (PWD)projects.

Interestingly, he has also used his power and influence to win tenders or contracts for different public and private development projects even during the BNP-Jamaat regime.

A list found in his Niketan office on Friday, the day of his arrest, showed he is currently engaged in the construction of at least 17 government projects, including that of a new Secretariat building.

When asked how Shamim alone managed to be tasked with so many projects, Mushfiqur Rahman Khan Hannan, president of Bangladesh PWD Contractor’s Association, said: “He is a special contractor, which is why he bags tenders of special projects.”

Nevertheless, Hannan did say that the association has never received a complaint of tender manipulation by Shamim.

Fake political identity?

Shamim had been claiming to be a leading Jubo League leader for a long time now. According to media reports, Shamim used to claim that he was the cooperative affairs secretary of the central committee of the ruling Awami League’s youth wing.

Many Jubo League leaders said Shamim has been identifying himself as the cooperative affairs secretary of the party since former cooperative affairs secretary SM Mejbah Hossain Buruj’s death on December 19, 2015.

However, Jubo League Publicity and Publication Secretary Iqbal Mahmud Bablu says Shamim does not hold a Jubo League post.

“He [Shamim] was a Jubo Dal leader,” he told reporters, adding: “I have heard that Shamim was the vice president of the Narayanganj district unit of Awami League.”

Soon after Shamim’s arrest on Friday, Awami Jubo League chairman Md Omar Faroque Chowdhury,  told the media that Shamim never belonged to Jubo League.

About Shamim’s reported engagement with the Narayanganj Awami League, its president Abdul Hye said: “GK Shamim does not belong to the party unit. He does not hold any of the 71 posts in our committee.”

Shamim reportedly was a close aide to BNP leader Mirza Abbas as well.

Dhaka Tribune has repeatedly tried to reach Mirza Abbas over the phone for his comments, but to no avail.

Many in Bashabo and Motijheel’s AGB Colony told reporters that Shamim was a frontline leader of Jubo Dal during the 2001-06 BNP tenure, managing to get the party’s post of assistant secretary for its undivided Dhaka city unit.

Shamim’s empire of ill-gotten wealth

Shamim has a five storey building in Kadamtola of Bashabo, and three other buildings in the same area.

It is also reported that he owns several bighas of land in the capital’s Demra and Dakshingaon neighbourhoods, Sonargaon upazila of Narayanganj, and in Gazipur and Bandarban.

Shamim has apparently amassed tremendous ill gotten wealth using political influence and power.

He moved about in a vehicle with air horn sirens, escorted by seven armed bodyguards calling out to commuters on loudspeakers to clear his way.

Shamim, who was arrested  with bank fixed deposits or FDRs worth Tk165 crore, around Tk1.8 crore in cash and a large stash of dollars, became the king of extortion and tender contract manipulation, using political clout.