Aminur Rahman, the prime accused in three cases filed over the human trafficking and fraudulence, has been released on bail, according to the police and the court.
Aminur, a man from Narail district used to identify himself as a ‘big industrialist', appeared in a human trafficking case at a court in Dhaka on Sunday.
Police, however, find him actually to be involved in human trafficking.
While investigating a case of human trafficking to Brunei, police found Aminur Rahman alias Himu and his associate had tricked nine job seekers and scammed Tk 2,400,000 (2.4 million).
Uttara (East) police station’s sub-inspector Md Kamal Hossain, the investigation officer for the case, submitted a charge sheet to Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court on 25 January against Aminur Rahman.
SI Kamal Hossain found proof of the financial transactions between the victims and the alleged human traffickers. The bank documents were submitted as evidence in court.
Earlier on 9 September, a certain Monir Hossain brought such allegations before the human trafficking tribunal. The tribunal ordered Uttar (East) police station officer in-charge to register this as a first information report (FIR).
According to the case documents, a trafficking racket led by Aminur sent nine job aspirants to Brunei in 2019. They collected Tk 2.7 million (Tk 27 lakh) in total, that is Tk 300,000 each from the nine persons.
Arriving in Brunei, the victims did not find existence of the enterprise for which they were recruited.
Cable operator Zia Mollah, one the victims and the plaintiff, alleged that Aminur and his associate Noor Alam lured him with promises of a high salary job and sent him along with eight others to Brunei with forged documents.
The nine victims were later detained by Brunei police for illegal migration.
Another victim, Polash Hossain, told Prothom Alo that he had to sell land and also had to borrow money to arrange his migration cost of Tk 300,000 charged by Aminur and Noor.
The criminals lured all the victims with promises of high salary jobs in a company, but these false promises.
“Our days in Brunei were miserable,’ Polash said. Relatives of the victims arranged the money for their return to Bangladesh.
According to the FIR, police found that the victims deposited Tk 300,000 and Tk 2.15million (Tk 21.50 lakh) in separate bank accounts of Aminur and Noor respectively. The transactions were done between 10 April and 11 July 2019. Police examined the bank documents as per the court order.
Aminur and Noor were operating a trafficking racket in disguise of recruiting agencies, Highway International and Messrs Nazrul International Service. The traffickers used to cheat unemployed people by giving false information about recruitment in Brunei.
Lured by the traffickers, the nine victims arrived in Brunei via Malaysia. When they found themselves cheated, they tried to communicate with Aminur and Noor. Instead of rescuing the victims, the alleged traffickers charged their relatives for more money.
Investigation officer Kamal said that Aminur used to live with his second wife at a rented house in Gulshan. “Besides human trafficking, Aminur is also alleged of fraudulence,” he said.
Two more complaints were filed with the Kafrul police station against Aminur and his associate. The Kafrul police are still investigating the cases.
Aminur has secured bail in all the three cases. In court, he denied the allegations brought against him.
Defence lawyer Mollah Monir Ahmed said in a written statement that Aminur was not involved in human trafficking, nor in sending nine people to Brunei.
The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) nabbed Aminur on 24 September on allegations of human trafficking.
RAB investigation found that Aminur scammed around Tk 30 crore (300 million) while trafficking 60 job aspirants to Brunei before March last year.
In the 2018 parliamentary election, Aminur sought Awami League’s nomination for the Narail 3 constituency. Despite being refused, he used to identify himself as a lawmaker and big industrialist, Rab investigation found.
*This report appeared in Prothom Alo print and online edition, and has been rewritten in English by Sadiqur Rahman