A section of officials of the Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police are reportedly involved in corruption and criminal activities, including extortion and looting.
The latest misdeed by the intelligence branch came to light through a video footage of a private bank, where some officers were seen extorting money from a businessman in the capital. Recently, DB constable Hemayet Uddin was arrested while snatching a private car from Savar, while a mob beat up three inspectors who were trying to take money from a medicine shop in the old part of the city.
A Dhaka Tribune investigation found that several syndicates are trading in counterfeit and illegal goods, like banned polythene bags, fake cosmetics or plastic wares, expired food items, stolen car parts and smuggled gold or fabrics in Old Dhaka. Moreover, dealers are busy selling illegal drugs in 374 known spots in the city.
But mysteriously, law enforcers appear not to take any action against them. It is alleged that selected police officials are assigned to collect huge sums of money from the illegal, but lucrative businesses.
According to sources, there are around 200 illegal poly-bag factories in Old Dhaka. A factory owner, on condition of anonymity, told Dhaka Tribune that they submit Tk500,000 to the DB office within the first 10 days of every month.
Leaders of Chawkbazar cosmetic business association said a DB inspector takes away Tk500,000 each month from dozens of cosmetic factories in the area.
Besides, every fake biscuit factory in the area presents Tk10,000 to the DB office every month to run their business. A paint factory owner in Nababganj said he has to pay a DB constable Tk50,000 a month.
Manufacturers of spurious melamine tableware in Lalbagh claimed that they give a share of their profits to an additional deputy commissioner every month.
Allegations of extortion against DB officials also came from Shakharibazar’s gold shops.
A car parts’ dealer at Dholaikhal market claimed that they can easily sell bits from stolen vehicles by bribing the detective police.
Moreover, DB officials allegedly maintain the drug syndicate in the city, allowing them to run the illegal trade in exchange for monthly payments. Sometimes, drug dealers are arrested if they fail to provide the promised amount.
The detectives also collect money from different residential hotels of Moghbazar, Mohakhali and Paltan areas, several managers claimed, adding that they have to pay Tk50,000 each as “tea bill” every month.
Besides, DB officials also extort money from family members of detainees, who are arrested on false charges. Recently, the DB arrested car parts trader Jahangir from Dholaikhal and detained him for three days. He was released after his family has allegedly paid a huge sum of money.
Although allegations are rife against those who are responsible for ensuring law and order in the country, crooked officers are rarely brought to justice.
DB Deputy Commissioner Jahangir Hossain Matubbor, however, refuted the allegations, saying DB is a big department and it is “a common thing” for allegations to be made against any department. He added that action is taken against any official found guilty.
Inspector General of Police Hassan Mahmood Khandker told the Dhaka Tribune that if any police official is found involved in irregularities or criminal activities, stern action will be taken against them.
“We will not allow any corrupted official in the force, and action has been taken against such officials in the past,” he added.