Faridpur city unit Awami League's suspended general secretary Sajjad Hossain Barkat and his brother – former president of Faridpur Press Club Imtiaz Hasan Rubel – are victims of a conspiracy hatched by political rivals, claims their family.
At a press conference in Dhaka yesterday – Rubel's daughter Jawata Afnan Radia, on behalf of the family, sought the prime minister's intervention for the immediate release of the two brothers.
According to the family, the information about assets owned by Rubel and Barkat – 5,706 bighas of land, 188 bank accounts and 55 vehicles including buses, as mentioned in the case filed by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID)– is exaggerated.
Radia said the CID accused the siblings of laundering Tk2,000 crore, while the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed a case for illegally amassing over Tk72 crore worth of wealth over the same incident.
"The ACC after two years of investigation has found around 800 bighas of land but the CID has found 5,706 bighas. Two government agencies are showing conflicting information," she said.
She further added that her father owns 159 bighas of land, of which 30 bighas are in char areas. "His company has three drum trucks and two jeeps. He has no flat or land in Dhaka and Faridpur. We live in my grandfather's ancestral home."
Radia also gave accounts of her uncle Barkat's assets, saying he has 200 bighas of land in his name, 10 Tata buses of his own and 10 buses on lease, and 5-7 drum trucks. "He was twice selected as the best taxpayer from Faridpur."
Uttam Kumar Biswas, assistant superintendent of police at the CID, told The Business Standard (TBS) the CID wanted information about Barkat and Rubel's properties from the district registrar. "After we applied to the court according to the details provided by them [the district registrar's office], the court ordered the confiscation of these properties," he added.
"Nonetheless, an application has been sent to the Faridpur deputy commissioner (DC) to scrutinise the details of properties given by the district registrar. Action will be taken, as per the calculation the DC will provide after the investigation."
In June last year, Faridpur police arrested nine people, including Barkat and Rubel and seized foreign weapons and Tk29 lakh in cash, and 1,200 sacks of rice.
After the arrest, the CID filed a case accusing the siblings of laundering Tk2,000 crore, while the ACC filed a case for illegally amassing over Tk72 crore worth of wealth.
Rubel's son Adiyat Hasan Rafim, and Barkat's daughter Israt Jahan Adriti, also were present at the press conference.