The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has arrested an engineer of Shohozdotcom – an online ticketing partner of the Bangladesh Railway – for his involvement in an e-ticketing scam, during Eid festivals in particular.
At a press briefing on Thursday, RAB said Md Rezaul Karim, 38, a system engineer of Shohozdotcom, has been involved in a ticketing scam for at least six years.
"He grabbed around 2,000-3,000 tickets every Eid season, sold them on the black market and amassed around Tk10-12 lakh each vacation," said Lt Col Abdullah Al Momen, commanding officer of RAB-1, at the force's media centre in the capital.
RAB also detained one of Rezaul's accomplices, Emranul Alam Samrat, from the Airport Rail Station area on Wednesday night.
The force also seized a large number of Bangladesh Railway e-tickets from smartphones in their possession.
He said, every Eid season, train tickets are precious Sonar Harin (golden deer) and some racketeers were selling the tickets on the black market.
"Middle-income people rush to grab their desired tickets online but we kept getting complaints that all online tickets were out of reach within minutes of becoming available every morning," he added.
"Following complaints, a RAB-1 intelligence team detained Rezaul Karim from the Airport Rail Station area and upon interrogation, he confessed they were running a racket, selling online tickets on the black market," he said.
Abdullah Al Momen also said Rezaul has been involved in online ticketing for the last six years, and he was grabbing online tickets for the time being. He also worked for CNS bd, another Bangladesh Railway online ticketing platform. He later got an appointment on Shohozdotcom.
"Rezaul has been selling tickets for an extra Tk500 to close acquaintances while others have to pay around Tk1000-1500 per ticket over and above the regular fare. He was carrying out the offence without any hassle, favoured by some railway high-up persons," the commanding officer said.
"He also created a huge fan base in the black market for train tickets. As a system engineer, he purchased most of the online tickets immediately after their release on the site," the RAB official said.
The racketeers sold tickets for cash, avoiding mobile banking to dodge law enforcement agencies and were also using a secret messaging app to hide their conversations.
Shohoz's statement on the charges
"We congratulate RAB on being able to capture Md Rezaul Karim Reza, during our administration. We hired him four weeks ago when we started working with Bangladesh Railway, as an experienced vendor and employee who had worked with Bangladesh Railway, providing station support for six years," Shohoz said in a statement.
"As RAB mentioned, he has been black marketing for the last six years, before we started working with Bangladesh Railway. Informed that he was taken for investigation yesterday, we fired him instantly," Shohoz added.
"He is not an engineer by any means; he is ground-level support staff at railway stations. In future, we will continue to take similar harsh action against any such incidents. We are with RAB and Bangladesh Railway in fighting black [marketing]."