BNP questions govt silence over suspicious transaction of $300m and Joy

Staff Correspondent

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Saturday questioned the government’s silence over ‘suspicious transaction of $300 million and Sajeeb Wazed Joy,’ son of prime minister Sheikh Hasina.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir at a briefing at the party chairperson’s Gulshan office said that people wanted to know who the owner of this huge amount of money was.
He alleged that journalist Shafik Rehman was arrested only on the basis of a posting on Facebook page of Joy that claimed that plot was hatched to abduct and kill him although a US court did not accept such allegation.
Fakhrul asked why the government kept mum about ‘Individual 1’, who was Joy, and ‘suspicious transaction of $ 300 million’ mentioned in US government documents placed before the US court.
He said trials of plundering of ‘thousands of crores of taka’ from share market and banks were not also being held.
‘People definitely have the right to know if there is any link between the plundering and the suspicious transaction,’ he said adding that people wanted independent and effective investigation into this matter.
The BNP leader hoped that the government would take effective steps to give satisfactory answers to people about the owner and sources of the $300 million that amounted to nearly Tk 2,500 crore.
‘In late September 2011, in furtherance of the scheme, Special Agent Lustyik caused other personnel in FBI’s White plains RA to retrieve confidential records pertaining to Individual 1, including, among other things, an internal memorandum [the ‘FBI memo’] that referred to Individual 1 and a sum of $300 million, and a confidential report, known as a Suspicious Activity Report that also referred to Individual 1,’ Fakhrul quoted prosecution’s argument before the US court in the said case.
He said that banks or financial institutions in the United States had to file Suspicious Activity Report over suspicious financial transactions and the report that was in the Federal Bureau of Investigation documents was about Joy and the $300 million.
He said it was proved in the US court judgement that accused Rizvi Ahmed Caesar had tried to collect reliable documents to project Joy and his mother prime minister Sheikh Hasina as ‘corrupt’ and to ‘politically embarrass’ them and judgement proved that he succeeded to some extent.
He said that in the judgement delivered on March 4, 2015, the judge acquitted Rizvi Ahmed Caesar of the charge of trying to abduct or physically harm Joy stating that there was no evident to prove it and the court did not accept Joy as a victim.
Fakhrul quoted a part of the judgement that stated, ‘I will also say for the record that the government’s contention that Ahmed in fact sought to kidnap and physically harm an individual is a stretch. I just don’t feel there’s enough evidence that’s presented to me for me to make that finding.’
He said that although the US court did not accept the allegation of any attempt to abduct or physically harm Joy, a case was filed, investigation was conducted and senior journalist Shafik Rehman was arrested and remanded in custody based on only a Facebook posting made by Joy.
He said Shafik Rehman, acting Amar Desh editor Mahmudur Rahman or any BNP leader were named neither anywhere in the trial in the US court nor in the first information report field with Ramna police station in Dhaka, but Shafik was arrested, Mahmudur was shown arrested and imaginary statements were being made against BNP leaders in home and abroad.
He asked the government to release Shafik and stop conspiracy to unjustly implicate Mahmudur in the case.
He said that taking Shafik in custody again after interrogating him in custody for five days was inhumane.
He also asked the government to refrain from spreading motivated propaganda against BNP leaders with imaginary allegation.
He said BNP was a nationalist patriotic democratic party and it did not believe in politics of kidnap or killing rather thousands of BNP leaders and activists were being victims of abduction and killing.
BNP leaders Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Jamiruddin Sircar, Nazrul Islam Khan, Abdullah Al Noman, Selima Rahman, Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, Osman Farruk and Emran Saleh Prince, among others, were present at the briefing.

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