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Gamble that didn’t pay off

  • Published at 11:25 pm February 25th, 2020
Gamble
RAB o cials with a trunk and several sacks full of cash, recovered from Enamul Haque Enu and Rupan Bhuiyan’s house at Old Dhaka’s Lalmohan Shah Street on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

At least 200 people were arrested for their involvement with casino rings following a crackdown launched on September 18 last year, as part of the government’s anti-corruption drive

Just ten years ago, they owned only a light engineering shop in Baniyanagar of Old Dhaka, living in a tin-shed house behind the shop.

Now the two brothers – Enamul Haque Enu and Rupan Bhuiyan – own at least 156 apartments and 22 houses through their alleged involvement with casinos and gambling in Dhaka.

At least 200 people were arrested for their involvement with casino rings following a crackdown launched on September 18 last year, as part of the government’s anti-corruption drive.

These people were conducting their business for a long time in full view of the police and administration.

Some of them allegedly amassed huge sums of money from the casino business, which eerily resembled the luxurious casinos of distant Las Vegas. 

Officials of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) said the two brothers had around Tk19.11 crore in different bank accounts.

These brothers have also transacted around Tk200 crore with 91 bank accounts, according to investigators.

Crores of money continue to be seized from their dens

Earlier on September 24, 2019, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) seized about Tk5 crore in cash, eight kilograms of gold and six firearms during raids at their residences. RAB filed seven cases against them at the time.

The brothers however eluded the drive and have since remained fugitive.

The CID discovered that four money laundering cases were already there against the brothers. 

Later on January 13, the siblings were arrested from Keraniganj along with their associate Sheikh Sunny Mostafa.

A RAB team early on Tuesday raided the house of the duo again in Old Dhaka’s Lalmohan Shah Street, where the elite force recovered around Tk26.55 crore.

At a briefing on Tuesda, RAB-3 Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Rakibul Hassan said the force had also seized foreign currencies – $9,300, 174 Malaysian Ringgit, Rs5,350, 1,195 Chinese Yuan, 11,560 Thai baht, 100 UAE Dirham – during the raid.

“Tk5 crore in FDR, gold ornaments of around 1kg, and casino equipment were also seized in the raid,” he said.

RAB Executive Magistrate Sarower Alam said the six-storey building where the raid was conducted is owned by Enamul and Rupon, but they found no one inside the house during the raid.

During the CID’s Interrogation, Enamul and Rupon said that they possessed more than a hundred flats, houses, and land jointly in and outside Dhaka.

All of their properties are in the name of their mother, seven brothers, one sister, and the child of a deceased brother.

Most assets in Old Dhaka

There are six flats in a building behind the factory in Baniyanagor, but no one now lives in the house behind it.

Enamul lived on the second floor and Rupon lived on the fifth floor of the building.

In Lalmohon Saha Street, the brothers own around 27 flats and two one-katha plots in the same area.

There are 54 flats in Gandaria and Narinda area, 14 flats in Wari’s south Moisundi, 12s flat in Gurudash Sarder Lan, according to the CID.

In addition, they also own a single-storey house on 15 kathas of land in Keraniganj. 

Apart from this, they have a 10-katha plot in Munshiganj’s Sirajdikhan, a 12-decimal land in Shariatpur’s Naria, a 34-decimal land in Palang thana area, according to sources.

CID Additional Superintendent of Police Md Faruk Hossain said police were investigating four cases of money laundering involving the two brothers.

“We have found the details on wealth accumulated by the two brothers during investigation. The 91 bank accounts used for transactions have been seized,” said Hossain, an official of Organized Crime’s Economic Crime Squad unit of CID.

He said both brothers were uneducated and operated their casino business by maintaining good relations with a Nepalese citizen named Harry alias Hari.

How gambling helped the brothers amass this huge wealth

According to CID sources, both brothers during interrogation said they had learned gambling by sitting with their father in the gambling room at Azad Sporting Club.

Then they gradually got involved in the gambling business and had their own gambling boards in Sadarghat area.

At one point, Enamul and Rupon became partners at Wanderers Club. The duo played an active role first at different card games and later at the casino in the clubhouse, the sources said.

It is alleged that both brothers bought their way into Awami League committee posts with their money.

Enamul was the vice president of the Gandaria Thana Awami League and Rupon was the joint general secretary.

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