Despite being found guilty of selling about one million yaba pills, recovered in an anti-drug drive, to drug traders, 12 policemen including an SP and two ASPs remain secure in their positions, found a Prothom Alo investigation.
The police headquaters' inquiry committee submitted a final report stating the officers were guilty. Eleven of of the accused police officers are serving in Cox’s Bazar and one in Chattogram.
Those accused of selling yaba are the inspector Monirul Islam and Sukendra Chandra Sarkar of Cox's Bazar DB police, sub-inspector Kamal Hossain, Masud Rana and Jabed Alam, ASI Masud Mia, constable Mobarak Hossain, Rubel and Kefayet Ullah.
Cox's Bazar district police superintendent AKM Iqbal Hossain, Ukhia circle additional police superintendent Chailau Marma and additional superintendent of Cox’s Bazar Sadar Afruzul Haque were also accused in the report.
The police superintendent has been accused for embezzlement of money from yaba sales. The other two officials were charged with not investigating the case properly and for neglecting their duties.
Several police officers on condition of anonymity told Prothom Alo that a team of Cox’s Bazar DB police recovered the huge number of yaba pills from Teknaf on 27 October night in 2017.
“The accused are supposed to be dismissed right after such allegations and criminal cases should be filed against them,” they added.
Sub-inspector Bashir Ahmed over phone and police inspector Sukendra Chandra Sarkar in person informed police superintendent AKM Iqbal Hossain that around 730,000 pieces of yaba had been recovered at the time.
Another SI of DB police Jabed Alam, however, mentioned while filing case in Teknaf police station that only 10,000 pieces yaba were recovered.
The investigation, later, found that the officers actually recovered one million pills of which they sold 990,000 pills to drug dealers.
The incident came to light due to the dispute between two police officials, said an official unwilling to disclose his identity.
SI Bashir Ahmed filed a complaint with the police headquarters saying one of the accused officers came to his house in Dhaka to offer a bribe to keep silent on the matter. The incident was even published in a daily newspaper at the time.
Another team of police found evidence behind the allegations of offering the bribe.
Cox's Bazar district police superintendent AKM Iqbal Hossain told Prothom Alo, "The incident cannot be discussed as it is under investigation by the headquarters. However, as the police super, I can say that I am not involved in any wrongdoing."
Another accused additional police superintendent Chaylau Marma said,"I have not shown any negligence of duty.”
The most serious allegation has been brought against the then inspector of DB police Monirul Islam. Monirul is now in charge of the sea beach police outpost.
The investigation says, Monirul Islam knew that 990,000 yaba pills were sold. Not only did he seize a refrigerator with 500 yaba earlier and sold it, he is also allegedly using a microbus that he seized as evidence for another case.
It is said in the investigation that Monirul sent SI Masud Rana to offer the bribe to Bashir Ahmed.
SI Monirul said, “All these happened due to the dispute between two inspectors. One of them betrayed another..”
Deputy inspector general (administration) Habibur Rahman told Prothom Alo that he received a copy of the investigation report.
“The process of filing charges is underway,” said Habibur Rahman.
Asked about what kind of action can be taken against police officers on such allegations, former inspector general of police Nur Mohammad said “The accused must first be dismissed. Action can then be taken according to the investigation report.”