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A team of DB arrested arms traders Akul Hossain and his four associates and recovered eight firearms during a raid in the capital’s Mirpur, Darus Salam and Gabtoli areas early Thursday. The arrested are -- Akul Hossain, Illias Hossain, Abul Azim, Faruk Hossain and Fazlur Rahman. They are members of a transnational arms trading gang.

DMP additional commissioner (DB) AKM Hafiz Akhter told journalists at a press conference at DMP’s Minto Road media centre that police seized eight foreign pistols, eight rounds of bullets, 16 magazines and one car from their possessions during the drive.

In response to a question, the DB official said they were investigating whether any quarter was collecting the arms before the next elections

Hafiz Akhter further said Akul, the head of the racket, collected firearms from Benapole and sold those to Jashore, Khulna, Bagerhat, Dhaka and other parts of the country since 2014. He was accused in at least eight cases with different police stations in Jashore.

How Akul was identified and arrested

DB said the force came to know about the gang while investigating into the source of arms used to shot a contractor at Bhashantek in Dhaka and some arms recently recovered.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, Mashiur Rahman, DB’s Gulshan division deputy commissioner, who supervised the drive, said they were informed that members of a transnational arms trading ring were entering Dhaka via Gabtoli along with arms and bullets for selling those.

A case has been filed with Darus Salam police station under the arms act. A court has granted three-day remand of each.

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KM Hafiz Akhter also told the journalists in the media conference that the members of this racket are also involved with trading border pillars, snake venom, statues and archaeological artifacts, and drugs like yaba and ice.

In response to a question, the DB official said they were investigating whether any quarter was collecting the arms before the next elections.

Who is Akul Hossain

There are two factions of Awami League in Jashore-1 constituency (Sharsha upazila). One faction is led by Sheikh Afil Uddin, MP, and other is led by Benapole pourashava mayor Ashraful Alam.

Because of this conflict, there are two committees each of Sharsha and Benapole municipality unit of Chhatra League. The MP and the mayor have announced the two committees. President of both the committees is one person but the general secretaries are different. Akul Hossain is the general secretary of the committee announced by mayor Ashraful Alam.

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Jashore district unit Chhatra League president Salauddin Pias said, “Two committees of Chhatra League in Sharsha were approved. Akul Hossain is the general secretary of one of the committees.”

Police sources said Akul Hossain is from Bahadur area in Benapole pourashava. A team of police recovered three rounds of bullets, 12 magazines, one bomb, seven machetes, and a huge number of other arms and drugs from Akul Hossain’s house on 15 June, 2019. Two cases were filed with Benapole police station under arms and explosives act but police removed his name from the charge sheet.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, Benapole port police station officer-in-charge Mamun Khan said, “Two cases were filed in connection with the recovery of a huge number of other arms and drugs from Akul Hossain’s house but his name is missing in the charge sheet. This was all before I was transferred to this police station.”

He also said Akul is accused in eight cases filed on charges of murder, carrying illegal arms, extortion, hijacking gold, violence, and attacking customs officials.

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