Recently arrested Monir Hossain alias "Golden Monir" has deposits of over Tk500 crore in different banks. His immovable assets amount to Tk64 crore, while his gold ornaments, cars and other movable properties are valued at over Tk45 crore.
These properties have no legitimate source of funding. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has obtained specific information about these properties in an investigation.
An ACC team comprising Deputy Director Shamsul Alam and Assistant Director Mamunur Rashid Chowdhury has already submitted the report to the Commission.
According to the report, Monir owns 26 plots, including houses and multi-storey commercial buildings, amounting to about Tk64 crore. He has deposits of more than Tk500 crore in various banks.
In addition to these, the 600 bhoris of gold seized from him are estimated to be worth Tk36 crore, and his five cars are about Tk8 crore. He also has immovable property worth Tk1 crore.
According to the ACC team, a deeper investigation could unveil information about more of Monir's assets.
Meanwhile, the report has found evidence of both movable and immovable assets worth Tk3 crore, and movable assets alone worth Tk3 crore in the name of Monir's wife Raushan Monir. But she is a housewife and has no source of income.
According to ACC sources, an asset declaration notice may be issued to Monir and his wife shortly. A decision about filing cases against them would be taken based on their responses.
The sources further said the ACC has been investigating allegations of illegal acquisition of assets against Monir and his wife since 2009. But even though a notice had been issued against him, he had it stayed by a court order.
ACC sources say that Monir submitted a statement of assets to the ACC on one occasion in 2009. Therefore, the investigation team has recommended that a new notice be issued, seeking a reconciliation of all assets he has accumulated since 2009.
Raushan Monir was issued a notice in 2012, asking her to submit an asset declaration to the ACC. She subsequently filed a writ petition with the High Court. Following disposal of the writ, she submitted the statement in 2016 as directed by the court. Therefore, the inquiry team has recommended that the Commission ask her to produce a statement of her assets amassed after 2016.
Meanwhile, investigations are currently underway into allegations made against several Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (RAJUK) officials over various irregularities and corruption, including revising the layout of the Rajuk Purbachal project through fraudulent means, and taking bribes of Tk300 crore in exchange for allotment of institutional plots to Monir. The ACC will take appropriate action on these matters shortly.
Monir's clutch on freedom fighter's plot
Monir has allegedly occupied more than 200 plots in the last 20 years, sometimes at night with help from his cadre, and occasionally through forgery or destruction of documents. The police and the ACC are working to find out the names who are owners of these lands.
Apparently, he did not even spare a freedom fighter. Aided by armed terrorists, he attacked freedom fighter Akhtaruzzaman and occupied his 3-katha plot in Merul Badda's DIT project at midnight.
The Business Standard learnt this after a conversation with Asif Iqbal, a son of Akhtaruzzaman, and through an analysis of land documents.
"My father was a teacher at the Institute of Marine Engineering. After the war [in 1971], he maintained the family with this job. In 1984, he used his savings to buy a plot of land from a government official in Merul Badda's DIT project," said Asif.
He said his father built a semi-pucca house on the plot and rented it out. One night in 2009, a cadre force led by Monir beat up the tenants and took possession of the property. The next day, Monir started construction of a multi-storey building on the site.
"My father complained to Badda police station after the incident. But the police never submitted an incident report," claimed Asif.
Asif's father filed a writ petition with the High Court to stop the construction work and recover the land. But Monir resumed the construction work after his death in 2010.
"When I met Monir and asked him to return the plot, he offered me a plot elsewhere. When I insisted that I wanted that particular plot returned, he threatened to send his cadre to kill me."
He claimed he went to several government offices to recover the plot. "We went to the relevant RAJUK department where we found the land documents of all the plots surrounding ours, but ours was missing. Monir and the members of his syndicate had already destroyed our papers."
He sought cooperation of relevant parties to recover the plot from Monir.
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) acted on intelligence to arrest Golden Monir from his Merul Badda residence on Saturday. RAB filed three cases against Monir, against which the court has sentenced him to a 21-day remand.
Badda Police Station Officer-in-Charge (Investigation), Abdur Razzak told The Business Standard that the second-day interrogation of Monir had been completed. The case was handed over to Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police on Monday morning.
"We have handed over the documents pertaining to the case to the DB's Investigating Officer," he said.