The former leader of the Bangladesh youth organization Awami Jubo League Sheikh Fazlur Rahman Maruf was summoned by the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to make a recorded statement over illegal online gambling and corruption allegations against the controversial contractor Golam Kibria Shamim, who is better known under the alias GK Shamim.
Maruf, who is related to Bangladesh Member of Parliament Sheikh Selim, is expected to appear for questioning at the anti-corruption watchdog’s headquarters on January 7, 2020, in the country’s capital Dhaka.
The news of the interrogation of the former Jubo League leader was unveiled by a sportsperson of the watchdog, who revealed Sheikh Maruf had received a letter from the Commission’s Director on Sunday. The bank accounts of both Sheikh Maruf and his spouse were frozen in October after the anti-graft body commenced its examinations into the sources of income of 200 or so individuals.
It was established that there is a connection between Maruf and Salim Prodhan, who owns the Prodhan Group, responsible for the operation of the illegal online casino P24 Gaming. The operator claimed on its website to be among the first providers of B2B live gambling solutions in the country.
Prodhan and Maruf were business partners in P24 Gaming until the former was arrested by RAB (the Rapid Action Battalion) in September of this year. Prodhan attempted to escape by boarding a plane to Bangkok but failed and was sent behind bars for half a year.
Maruf to Be Questioned Over Corruption Allegations against Controversial Contractor
During the interrogation, Maruf will also be questioned over corruption allegations against contractor Golam Kibria Shamim, who was arrested in September for amassing riches well beyond his official sources of income. RAB officials recovered large amounts of cash during the raids of Shamim’s residence, along with movable and immovable property whose value also went beyond his known income sources.
Shamim is one of the most influential contractors in the country and head of the GKB & Company Limited, which handled fifteen major government projects including the Neuroscience Building and the Revenue Building in Dhaka’s borough of Agargaon.
In yesterday’s letter sent to Maruf, the Anti-Corruption Commission explained there were severe allegations against Shamim, who was accused of securing major construction projects by offering significant bribes to government officials and running illegal casino operations. Maruf’s recorded statement was required for the sake of proper inquiry, the letter read.
Shamim himself was subject to interrogation for several days following his arrest. He shared the names of several associates he engaged in illicit transactions with, Anti-Corruption Commission sources revealed.
During the government crackdown this past September, Bangladesh authorities raided dozens of illegal gambling businesses that operated from sporting clubs, located in the country’s capital Dhaka. Some of these were managed by the youth league of the ruling Awami party.