Lawsuits have been filed against the arrestees on arms and drugs charges only
Law enforcers directly involved with the investigation into illegal casinos are unclear about how to proceed with the investigation as a number of high profile names of politicians, law enforcement officials and former civil servants have cropped up.
Lawsuits have been filed against the arrestees on arms and drugs charges only, restricting the law enforcing agency from pressing on with a charge-sheet over other grave issues, for example illegal casino business.
As a result, investigating officers, who are mid-level officials, might not advance further over the issue without a clear directive from higher authorities, according to an official involved in the investigation.
"We are in a fix over what charge-sheet to proceed with against these people. The probe officers cannot do much against them without clearance from the highest authority," the official told The Business Standard, seeking anonymity.
When criminals with strong connections are interrogated, they disclose names of some senior police officials, but mid-level police officials are not empowered enough to take any action against them, he said.
A mid-level official of the DMP's Motijheel zone said they were preparing to raid casinos about one and a half years back, but senior officials did not allow them to proceed.
In this regard, Colonel Tofayel Mustafa Sorwar, additional director general of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), said the elite force of the Bangladesh Police is ready to investigate allegations against big names, if it is given the responsibility.
Meanwhile, the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) on Monday formed a body – "Committee to Assist in Investigation" – t0 supervise probes into allegations against police officials for helping casino businesses, and for allowing their foreign staff to make a safe escape during drives in sports clubs.
The committee, headed by Mahbubur Rahman, joint commissioner of Detective Branch (DB), includes three DB officials as members, said Krishna Pada Roy, DMP additional commissioner (crime and operations).
Earlier, The Business Standard has obtained some CCTV footage showing some people in civilian attire helping several others get out of a casino safely.
Investigation officers anonymously said several police officers were aiding in the safe getaway of the casino staff who were Nepalese.
Meanwhile, detained Jubo League (Dhaka South) general secretary Khaled Mahmud Bhuiyan, while being interrogated on remand, told police that he has no illegal arms, according to sources.
About the contraband Yaba seized from his possession, Khaled claimed that he does not take the tablets, he consumes wine instead, sources added.
Shahjahan Saju, a police official involved in the interrogation, said that they have been quizzing the two arrested Jubo League leaders and have gleaned some sensitive information which they are verifying.
He refused to reveal more, but said police will disclose the information once the remand of the suspects is complete.
The RAB, on Wednesday, launched operations against casinos in the capital. Khaled Mahmud was held from his Gulshan residence on Wednesday night over alleged involvement in the illegal business.
A mobile court also jailed more than 200 people who were apprehended with large amounts of cash at the casinos. So far, the elite battalion of the police has combed seven clubs in the last several days.
The RAB on Friday arrested another central Jubo League leader, SM Golam Kibria Shamim alias GK Shamim, and seized more than a billion Taka from his residence and office.
A RAB-1 team seized Tk1.80 crore from his home, and Fixed Deposit Receipts worth Tk165 crore from his office in Niketan in the capital.
Meanwhile, DMP started taking action against gambling establishments on Sunday by raiding four clubs in the Motijheel area.