Law enforcement also seized Tk1.09 crore and 600 bhori of gold from his residence
The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has arrested gold trader Monirul Islam, also known as Golden Monir, from his Merul Badda residence with illegal arms and drugs.
The elite force conducted an overnight raid at Monirul’s six-storey residence starting 10pm Friday, led by RAB Executive Magistrate Palash Kumar Basu, confirmed RAB Director (Legal and Media Wing) Lt Col Ashik Billah during a press briefing in Dhaka on Saturday.
During the raid, RAB recovered one foreign pistol, four bullets, four litres of foreign liquor, 32 fake seals, 20,500 Saudi Riyals, 501 US dollars, 500 Chinese Yen, 520 Indian Rupees, 1,000 Singaporean Dollars, 280,000 Japanese Yen, 92 Malaysian Ringgit, 10 Hong Kong Dollar, 10 UAE Dirham, and 660 Thai Baht and seized Tk1.09 crore and 600 bhori of gold from his residence.
One bhori equals 11.664 grams.
While briefing the media, RAB Director (Legal and Media Wing) Lt Col Ashik Billah said the raid was conducted based on allegations against Monirul, which includes keeping illegal firearms and other criminal activities.
At the same time, law enforcement also seized two of Monir’s luxurious Prado cars from his garage, and three other cars from his car dealership Autocar Selection.
Speaking to the media, Lt Col Ashik Billah said Monirul used to work as a salesman at a crockeries shop at Dhaka’s Mouchak Market during the 90s. While working there, he got acquainted with a person involved with smuggling goods using passenger luggage.
Monirul later started smuggling in various products, such as electronics, cosmetics, and clothes, into Bangladesh using the Bangladesh-Singapore-India route using passenger luggage. He later got involved with the gold smuggling ring along the route. He later opened up a gold jewellery shop at Dhaka Baitul Muquarram Market and earned his nickname “Golden Monir” in the gold smuggling trade.
RAB also said Monir used land grabbers to occupy various plots. He also resorted to forgery and bribery to grab government land plots in Rajuk, Purbachal, Badda, Nikunja, Uttara, and Keraniganj.
“During primary investigation, Monir confessed to having more than 30 land plots,” Lt Col Ashik Billah said.
He also said Rajuk authorities filed a case against Monir in 2019 for illegally occupying 90 Rajuk flats. Apart from that, the Anti-Corruption Commission has also filed a graft case against him on allegations of amassing wealth illegally. Monir also has several cases against him for smuggling activities.
Lt Col Ashik Billah also said RAB will formally ask ACC, BRTC, CID, and NBR to provide information on those who helped Monir in his criminal activities.