Recently arrested Jubo League leader Golam Kibria Shamim was in full control of all businesses and contracts of the government’s Public Works Department.
It was near impossible for anyone else to get any contract of that department. Even now, he controls all the big public works contracts of the government.
In true style of a mafia don, he would be accompanied by six body guards on three motorcycles wherever he went, with a siren blaring from his vehicle.
GK Shamim, as he preferred to dub himself, owns the contracting firm GK Builders and introduces himself as cooperatives secretary of the Jubo League central committee.
RAB personnel raided his office in Niketon of the capital city on Friday and arrested him along with seven of his bodyguards. They recovered Tk 18 million from the office along with Tk 1.65 billion FDR documents, 9000 US dollars, 752 Singapore dollars, a firearm and liquor.
RAB claims they carried out the operation based on media reports and allegations against him about extortion and tender manipulations.
The walls of GK Shamim's office were adorned with photographs of him along with various important persons including home minister Asaduzzaman Khan, Swechhashebak League president Molla Md Kawser, RAB DG Benazir Ahmed, and Awami League office secretary Abdus Sobhan.
The office, from entrance to the inner rooms, was opulently furnished, with wooden panelling, costly chandeliers, and large TV screens.
On Friday evening RAB also raided Kalabagan Krira Chakra and Dhanmondi Club after arresting the Kalabagan club’s president Shafiqul Alam who was in possession of arms at the time. Shafiqul is known to be a leader of Swechhashebok League. The law enforcers also sealed Dhanmondi Club.
Earlier on Wednesday, RAB had picked up Dhaka South Jubo League organising secretary Khaled Mahmud Bhuiyan from his Gulshan residence. His illegally run casino in Fakirapool was raided on the same day. After that, GK Shamim’s name came to the forefront.
Employees of GK Builders on Friday confirmed allegations of Shamim’s control over the Public Works Department contracts. The company’s marketing manager Amir Hamza said that Shamim was presenting working on 16 government projects, involving around Tk 25 billion.
The construction projects included the RAB headquarters at Ashkona, the RAB training centre in Gazipur, the Dhaka district police superintendant’s office, the Agargaon revenue office, the Public Service Commission building, the science museum, the new finance ministry building, the cabinet building, the Hill Tracts building and more.
Executive magistrate of RAB headquarters Sarwar Alam said that Shamim’s mother has no business yet an FDR of Tk 1.4 billion was found in her name. His bodyguards would brandish their guns to avail facilities in various places. Investigations will be carried out to see if he had any illegal business under the guise of legal work.
He said that it is up to the political party and its leaders to ascertain his political identity. That was not RAB’s responsibility.
In the meantime, Shamim’s personal assistant Didarul Islam told the media that the cash in the office had been withdrawn as the banks were closed over the weekend and the workers of the various projects needed to be paid. This, he said, entailed a huge sum of money.