Some 14 people including Jubo League Dhaka Metropolitan (South) unit president Ismail Hossain Chowdhury (Samrat) were arrested during the drives that began on 18 September 2019.

Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), police and Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed a total of 55 cases against them.

Later, in the last two years, Narsingdi Jubo Mohila League suspended general secretary Shamima Nur Papia, councilor Irfan Salim, model Faria Mahbub Piyasha, Mariam Akhtar Mou and Shamsunahar alias Pori Moni.

RAB arrested Samrat and his accomplice Arman from Cumilla in October 2019 and filed cases against them under the arms and the narcotics control act. A court sentenced Samrat to six months in jail under Wildlife (Conservation and Security) Act as two skins of Australian kangaroos were recovered from Samrat's office.

RAB, in the case with Ramna police station said, "He is known as casino Samrat. He has illegal casino business in ten clubs including Motijheel, Arambagh, Fakirapool and Paltan areas of the capital. He also carries out criminal activities including tender manipulation and extortion in the government and non-government financial organisations."

According to the case statement, the Samrat gang would torture anyone who refused to pay them toll or dissent in any way, subjecting them to electric shocks and beatings. He has a big cadre force. He would run this cadre force on money earned through illegal means. There are cases against him with different police stations. He was in jail in several cases. Maminul Haque Sayeed and Khaled Mahmud Bhuiyan are two key accomplices of Samrat. Khaled was arrested by RAB a few days ago with a huge amount of money, arms and drugs.

When asked about the findings related to extortion, tender manipulation and torture, RAB legal and media wing director Khandaker Al Moin said liquor, drugs, arms and skins of Australian kangaroos were recovered during the drives. Accordingly cases was filed. Charge sheets were submitted as allegations were found to be true.

Khandaker Al Moin, however, could not say anything whether there was any proof of extortion, tender manipulation, electric shocks and beatings.

The government top leadership was annoyed with Samrat as he sought extortion from Anjuman Mafidul Islam. At the time such news was published.

Nothing could be known as to from which government and private organisations Samrat sought toll and to whom he gave the toll money.

Who are patrons?

In the case of Tarequzzaman Rajib, the matter of patrons is clearly mentioned in the case statement and remand plea.

According to the case statement, "He emerged as Sultan in the crime world of Mohammadpur area through his illegal activities including land grabbing and extortion."

A 10-day remand was sought to identify the patrons and accomplices of criminal activities.

According to allegations of Tarequzzaman's family, a drive was conducted in Mohammadpur to ensure victory of Asif Ahmed in the councilor post from Ward no. 33 of Dhaka North City Corporation elections. Asif Ahmed is nephew of former army chief Aziz Ahmed and his brother top terrorist Tofael Ahmed. During the drive of Mohammadpur, former councilor Tarequzzaman Rajib and another councilor Mizan alias Pagla Mizan from the same ward were arrested. There are drugs and arms cases against them.

The family alleged both were shown arrested with same drugs and arms. The purpose of the arrest was to harass.

After the remand, RAB submitted charge sheets within six months. But nothing could be known about the patrons of the arrested persons. From the statements of the authorities, it could not be discerned whether the drive was conducted centering the elections.

The names of patrons could not be known in connection with the arrests of Shamima Nur Papia, Regent Group chairman Md Shahed and JKG's Sabrina Arif Chowdhury.

When Papia was arrested on 20 September, ACC said they would investigate into who would meet her in a hotel and who would stay in the rooms booked in her name.

Speaking to Prothom Alo on Friday night, ACC public relations officer Arif Sadek said he cannot instantly say what has been found in the investigation. He has only recently joined. Commissioner Jahurul Haque gave a similar answer.

However, RAB director Khandaker Al Moin said there were specific allegations against everyone. Drives were conducted upon those allegations. The investigation officer can say about the patronis. Some do not reveal their patrons. In the primary interrogation, Rassel of Evaly said he has done everything himself.

Victims of deception and blackmailing

Three women were recently arrested during the drives by the law enforcing agencies. Of them, police filed cases under the Narcotics Control Act against Faria Mahbub Piyasha and Mariam Akhtar Mou.

After their arrest in August, criminal investigation department joint commissioner Harun-or-Rashid told newsmen, "Two of the arrested models are "queens of the night". They sleep by day and get up to these activities at night. They invited young girls and boys of rich families to their "parties". They take compromising pictures and videos of them and then blackmail them for huge amounts of money."

In the case statement, police wrote several drug traders with drugs were staying on the ground floor of a house in Mohammadpur. On information, police conducted raids at 11:55pm.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, Mariam's husband AQM Foysal Ahmed Chowdhury said the allegations are false. There was no party that night. They invited relatives including children of three and five years of age. Police took kept bottles of liquor on the dining table and took pictures of that. Afterwards, his wife Mariam Akhtar was detained and taken away.

Faria Mahbub Piaysha also mentioned the owner of a design house while she was detained and taking away.

Till Friday night, it was still not whom these two persons deceived.

About raid at Pori Moni's house and her arrest, RAB said Piyasha's two friends Jisan and Mishu said there was a mini bar at Pori Moni house. On information, they conducted the raid. A case has been filed under the Narcotics Control Act.

Pori Moni came to the limelight after a case was filed against Boat Club director. She is still in the limelight.

*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo online edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam.

Read more from Crime and Law