After Nazmul, Faridpur Sramik League leader Billal arrested

Nazmul Islam Khandokar and Billal Hossain
Nazmul Islam Khandokar and Billal HossainCollected

Sramik League leader Billal Hossain (54) was arrested at around 3pm on Friday from his house in Harokandi, Faridpur by the detective branch (DB) of police. The arrest was made in a money laundering case filed by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

Faridpur DB officer-in-charge (OC), Sunil Karmakar, confirmed the matter, saying that Billal was arrested on money laundering charges filed by CID with the Karful police station in Dhaka. He was arrested on directives from CID.

Just a couple of hours before Billal was arrested, Faridpur town Awami League president Nazmul Islam Khandokar Leby (61) had been arrested, also on money laundering charges filed by CID.

Sramik League leader Billal is the son of late Sheikh Isamuddin of Harokandi, Faridpur. He was the treasurer of the district Sramik League. Sramik League is the labour wing of ruling Awami League.

Billal was a close associate of Khandokar Mohtesham Hossain alias Babar, brother of Faridpur-3 member of parliament Khandokar Mosharraf Hossain. Khandokar Mosharraf Hossain was elected as MP in the 2008 election and was made expatriate affairs minister. Khandokar Mohtesham Hossain at the time acted as the minister’s representative.

Billal Hossain would work in Khandokar Mohtesham Hossain’s poultry farm and was known as ‘Murgi Billal’ (Chicken Billal). Through his proximity with Mohtesham, he gained control over various government tenders and became wealthy overnight. It was with Mohtesham’s blessings that he became the treasurer district Awami League. He even became the owner, that is publisher, of a regional daily. That gave him access to the press club as a member. He went on to be elected as a member of the press club’s executive committee.

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OC of Faridpur’s Kotwali police station, Morshed Alam, said the DB police handed Billal over to them on Friday afternoon. He will be placed before the district chief judicial magistrate on Saturday.

Incidentally, CID had filed the money laundering case against Faridpur town Awami League general secretary Sajjad Hossain alias Barkat and his brother, Faridpur press club’s president Imtiaz Hossain alias Rubel. The case had been filed on 26 June by the CID inspector SM Miraj Al Mahmud at the Kafrul police station.

Till now 15 persons have been arrested in this connection.

Barkat and Rubel have been taken on remand twice. On 24 July they gave their depositions under Section 164 at the Dhaka metropolitan magistrate’s court.

Investigating office of the case, assistance superintendent of police Uttam Kumar Biswas, said that Rubel and Barkat and revealed the names of those with whose support they amassed their billion.

Nazmul’s name had cropped up again and again in the confessional statements of Sajjad Hossain Barkat and Imtiaz Hossain alias Rubel. These two brothers were close to the former minister Engineer Khandokar Mosharraf Hossain. They used this connection to build up wealth of Tk 20 billion (Tk 2000 crore) through extortion, land grabbing and other criminals activities. They revealed details of how, along with Nazmul and others, they carried out their criminals activities in Faridpur.

Te police has arrested many of their associate, the latest arrests being of Nazmul Islam Khandokar alias Leby and Billal.