Papiya laundered a large amount of money through Russian models and some influential people
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is going to bring money laundering charges against Shamima Nur Papiya, an expelled leader of the ruling party.
The CID has been looking into her money laundering issues since February 22, when she and her cohorts were arrested on charges of drug peddling, extortion and forcing women into prostitution.
This was revealed to The Business Standard by Imtiaz Ahmed, deputy inspector general (Organised Crime Unit) of the police.
Sources at the CID said Papiya laundered a large amount of money through Russian models and some influential people who frequently met her at her home in Thailand.
She has travelled to at least 12 countries, including Singapore, Ukraine, Russia, China, Vietnam and Malaysia, the sources added.
But she visited Bangkok the most where she used to stay for at least two weeks on every visit. She had a contract-based rented house in the 'Pak Kret' area on the outskirts of the Thai capital.
A CID official said an initial enquiry confirmed that the Papiya-Sumon couple had deposited a large amount of money in a bank account in Thailand and two accounts in Malaysia.
Sources said the CID found information about transactions of the equivalent of around Tk4 crore at KasikornBank in Thailand
Papiya, expelled general secretary of Jubo Mohila League's Narsingdi district unit, an associate organisation of the ruling Awami League, found a career in politics through her husband Mofizur Rahman Sumon.
In 2010, she formed a gang of goons in her locality after becoming the convener of the district unit of the Chhatra League.
She used her gang to amass a large amount of money through extortion, drug peddling, arms trade and many other crimes.
Papiya is believed to have developed good relations with many Awami League and Jubo League leaders by paying them.
Despite strong opposition from local leaders, it was the power of money that helped her become the general secretary of the district Jubo Mohila League in 2018.
She ran a prostitution racket at various luxury hotels in the capital by using her political identity.
The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) said Papiya lured poor women from Narsingdi by promising them good jobs, and later forced them into sex work.
Without having any specific job, the couple owns four flats altogether in Dhaka and in Narsingdi, four luxury cars, two plots of land, a showroom named "Car Exchange", and investment worth Tk40 lakh in an organisation in Narsingdi named KMC Car wash and Auto Solution, among other assets.
On February 22, Papiya and her husband along with their accomplices were arrested from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka when they were trying to flee the country. The RAB seized counterfeit notes, foreign currency and around Tk2.5 lakh from their possession.