Bogura: DB police take Tk 780,000 to free drug dealer

A screengrab from the CCTV footage during the DB team's operation in Dhaka on 12 May, 2024.

Some members of the Detective Branch (DB) police in Bogura collected an amount of Tk 780,000 from a drug dealer, confining him in a hotel in Dhaka after his detention.

The incident took place at a residential hotel in Barabagh, Mirpur, on 12 May.

Multiple sources in Bogura told Prothom Alo that the detectives concerned returned the entire amount to the drug dealer when the incident came to light. One and a half months have elapsed since the incident, but the DB men are yet to face any disciplinary action. When asked about the issue, the DB officials described it as a minor offence.

According to sources, the incident was carried out by five DB members, led by sub-inspector Amirul Islam. They have been identified through CCTV camera footage.

Multiple footages showed the DB men taking drug dealer Rubel, alias Picchi Rubel, to a residential hotel named 'Guest House' in Mirpur on the night of 12 May. They stayed at the hotel for less than 24 hours.

Hotel supervisor Shahin Howladar said a group of armed people came to the hotel and identified themselves as DB officers. They told him that they went to the nearby Kidney Hospital to visit a patient and would stay at the hotel for the night.

The supervisor did not ask any other questions after learning about their identities.

Picchi Rubel is a drug dealer from Muktagachha in Mymensingh. Faruk Ahmed, officer-in-charge (OC) of Muktagachha police station, said, “Rubel is a listed drug dealer of the area. There are arrest warrants against him in three narcotics cases. We are looking for him.”

SI Amirul Islam could not be reached during a visit to the DB office in Bogura on 30 June as he was reportedly in training. Attempts to reach him over the phone also remained unsuccessful as he did not respond to text or WhatsApp calls and messages.

Minor offence

While talking to Prothom Alo, OC of Bogura DB Mustafiz Hasan said they were unaware of the operation. SI Amirul recently joined Bogura from Joypurhat, and the detained drug dealer was his source.

Amirul paid him Tk 150,000 in exchange for information. The source failed to deliver the desired information, but refrained from returning the money. Hence, Amirul detained him and collected some money, he added.

OC Mustafiz further said an additional superintendent of police informed him about the operation as the drug dealer was his relative. Later, they questioned SI Amirul regarding this.

When asked if a drug dealer can be a source, the OC avoided the issue tactfully. When asked if an SI receives Tk 150,000 as source money, he responded that it might be possible.

According to Mustafiz, there is no scope to move to Dhaka with a team without reporting the issue to the senior officer. He must be informed if a DB team from Bogura goes on an operation.

He said the DB team, led by Amirul, committed an offence, but it is a minor offence according to its level. Amirul will not be subjected to significant punishment for this, rather will be transferred to another area.

He believes that action over such an incident would tarnish the image of the DB.

Snigdho Akther, additional superintendent of Bogura, claimed to have no idea about the DB team's operation in Dhaka. If such an incident takes place, he added, it would be looked into.

Termination suggested

Former inspector general of police Nur Mohammad said a police personnel needs to take permission from seniors even if he conducts a drive within his workplace. He needs to leave a note about his destination.

If the reported incident emerges true, it is imperative to take disciplinary action against the policemen involved with the operation. There is no ground to consider it a minor offence. The involved officials should be terminated, he added.