The human rights body Protection For Legal and Human Rights Foundation (PLHRF) on Wednesday demanded a proper investigation into a loan scam of Tk 270 crore by Rongdhanu Group Chairman Rafiqul Islam.
It also demanded to look into money laundering, embezzlement of bank money, and illegal accumulation of wealth by the group chairman.The body urged the government to look into the attack and vandalism of houses of people at Rupganj in Narayanganj by the cohorts of Rafiqul.
They placed their demand in a press conference held at the Crime Reporters Association of Bangladesh (CRAB) in the capital on Wednesday, reports banglanews24.com.
Dr Sufi Sagar Sams, chief adviser to PLHRF, presented the demands during the briefing and expressed concern over the reported attack and vandalism of houses in Rupganj, Narayanganj, allegedly carried out by associates of Rafiqul.
Additionally, the body also called for an investigation into an attempted rape of Bangladeshi Miss Ireland Priyoti, allegedly involving Rafiqul.
Sams disclosed that Rafiqul and his family members, namely his sons Mehedi Hasan Dipu and Kawser Ahmed Opu, along with Maliha Hossain, obtained a loan of Tk 270 crore from First Security Islami Bank against 337.59 decimals of land at a real estate project in Vatara, Dhaka, on June 22, 2023. However, Sams alleged that plots of land measuring 93.87 decimals were sold by Rafiqul to other individuals in 2022, raising questions about the legitimacy of the loan.
"The bank did not disclose the sector for which the loan was disbursed to Rongdhanu Group," claimed Sams, emphasizing the lack of transparency in the loan process. He further criticized the bank for not obtaining a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the real estate project's authority to verify the status of the land and for neglecting to verify land documents at relevant land offices.
He asserted that Rafiqul and his family members constitute an organized gang involved in activities detrimental to the country's economy, including money laundering abroad. He alleged that Rafiqul, who once sold eggs, whitened black money by investing in the media sector.
In 2018, Sams claimed, Rafiqul attempted to rape model and actress Priyoti. While Priyoti shared her experience in a video message, she refrained from filing a police complaint out of fear of reprisal.
The PLHRF adviser accused Rafiqul's cohorts of turning the Rupganj area into a "reign of terror," carrying out attacks on residents and looting their homes. He urged the government to take stringent action against the organized gang, emphasizing the need to safeguard the rights and security of the citizens affected by their activities.
Several office bearers of the Protection For Legal and Human Rights Foundation were present at the press briefing.
Bd-pratidin English/Golam Rosul