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Casino stuffs found in more clubs

Clubbers evade police raid, ACC watching situation


FE REPORT | Published: September 23, 2019 10:30:21 | Updated: September 23, 2019 14:26:20


Casino chips and other gambling items seized during a raid by law enforcement personnel on the Victoria Sporting Club at Motijheel in the city on Sunday — FE photo

Following in the footsteps of Rapid Action Battalion, police on Sunday cracked down on four more traditional sporting clubs in the city, where they found casino-playing materials, money, and liquors.

Police could make no arrest in the operation as they found none inside the clubs.

The crackdown led by deputy commissioner of Motijheel zone of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Anwar Hossain was launched simultaneously at Mohammedan, Victoria, Arambagh and Dilkusha clubs at around 3:00pm.

Talking to reporters, the deputy commissioner said they found casino-playing materials like board and coins at all the clubs, which indicate that the clubs were involved in operating casinos illegally.

He said they also found cash, liquors and Shisha (a kind of drug) during the drive.

"We did not find anyone inside the clubs. We'll investigate to find out the ringleaders behind such illegal activities," he said.

Responding to a question, Mr Hossain said they conducted the operations based on their secret information.

"We did not know earlier that the clubs were operating casinos. We launched the operations after getting information and we'll continue it," he said.

The policemen later sealed off the clubs.

The police action came four days after the issue of using clubs for casinos and gambling hogged media spotlight.

On September 18, RAB members raided a couple of sporting clubs in Motijheel and caught some 142 people red handed while playing casino there.

The elite force members also arrested one of the masterminds of such illegal activities and Jubo League leader Khalid Hossain Bhuiyan from his Gulshan residence.

Two days later, the RAB men nabbed an alleged tender manipulator and so-called Jubo League leader GK Shamim along with seven armed bodyguards from his Niketon office where cash amounted to Tk 18 million and fixed deposits documents worth Tk 1.65 billion were found.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Corruption Commission chairman Iqbal Mahmood said the commission is closely observing the crackdown against illegal casino operators, gamblers and tender manipulators.

Talking to reporters at his office, he said they will act promptly if any government officials are found involved in favouring someone for such unethical activities.

About the ACC's role, the commission chief said it works as per its mandate and stated that the prevention of gambling is not its duty.

"We look into the issues related to government officials and employees. If they are involved in any irregularity and unethical practices, we will definitely look into the matter," Mr Mahmood said.

Responding to alleged tender manipulators, political influence to secure work order of development projects and source of income of detained Jubo League leader GK Shamim, the ACC boss said if it is revealed that any government official has taken bribe to provide illegal benefit, the ACC will take action.

He also said, "We have been observing media reports and activities of the police and RAB."

"The ongoing developments are in our knowledge and we will take decision in the commission's meeting," he added.

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