Independent lawmaker Papul was arrested in Kuwait on June 6 this year on charges of human trafficking and money laundering, while his brother is on the run
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Police has made preparations to submit a charge-sheet against lawmaker Kazi Md Shahid Islam alias Kazi Papul, his younger brother, Kazi Mohammed Badrul Alam and their associates in a case filed over human trafficking to Kuwait.
Confirming the matter, CID's Senior Assistant Superintendent of Police, Jisanul Haque, told The Business Standard that they might file the charge-sheet within this month.
Aside from the Lakshmipur-2 independent lawmaker's reported involvement with human trafficking, the CID also found that his brother, Badrul Alam alias Liton Chowdhury was tied to the case, after his name was mentioned in a confessional statement filed in Bangladesh.
Brothers Papul and Liton trafficked around 1,574 Bangladeshis to the oil-rich Gulf country of Kuwait through his recruiting agency, Job Bank International, read the statement. Liton is currently absconding.
Papul was arrested in Kuwait on 6 June this year on charges of human trafficking and money laundering. Later, he not only confessed his involvement with the aforementioned activities, but also with illegal visa trading and bribing Kuwaiti officials, reported the country's media.
On 6 July, Mohammad Alim – an alleged victim of Papul's fraudulent activities who was deported to Bangladesh – sued MP Papul and his associates over allegations of human trafficking with the Motijheel Police Station.
The associates are Abdur Rashed, 54, Rezaul Karim, 45, and Monir, 33.
A day later, the CID began investigation on the case, and arrested Liton's accountant, Md Golam Mostafa, and three others within the next month. The arrestees gave their confessional statements before a court on 24 August.
On condition of anonymity, a CID official said they are currently searching for Liton's whereabouts, adding, "As his name came up in the confessional statement, we will bring him to book for sure."
Referring to the statement, CID sources said Papul and Liton used to jointly run the Job Bank International agency in Dhaka's Moghbazar area, which was later found shuttered after Papul's arrest in Kuwait.
Accountant Mostafa has confessed that Liton instructed him to lure people from several regions of the country with promises to send them abroad.
"Accountant Mostafa's middlemen would gather hundreds of people to send them to Kuwait by offering better jobs with lucrative salaries. But their dreams later turned into a nightmare as they never received the jobs or salaries promised to them," the statement read.
Meanwhile, a Kuwaiti court began the trial of MP Papul and other accused on 17 September, after rejecting his plea for release in the case accusing him of human trafficking, money laundering, bribing officials and threatening state security.
The Kuwaiti criminal court, headed by Counselor Abdullah Al-Othman, also ordered the detention of three other Bangladeshi nationals accused in the case, who were previously released by the prosecution.
According to Kuwaiti media reports, the country's lawmakers Saadoun Hammad and Salah Khorshid allegedly took bribes from MP Papul to help him conduct his businesses in Kuwait.
Thirteen people were accused in the case filed in Kuwait, including Major General Mazen Sheikh Mazem Al Jarrah, assistant under-secretary of the interior ministry of Kuwait.
Responding to a query, Bangladesh's Ambassador to Kuwait, Maj Gen Md Ashikuzzaman, said they are yet to get any official confirmation regarding the arrest and trial of MP Papul.
"We have learned the information about MP Papul's detention and trial from local media outlets," said Niaz Morshed, second secretary (political) of the embassy.
In an interview with The Business Standard in the last week of September, Additional Inspector General of Police and Chief of CID, Barrister Md Mahbubur Rahman, said they are very close to submitting the charge-sheet against the lawmaker over the human trafficking allegations.