Saturday, 28 May, 2022
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Extortionists active again

Extortionists active again

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An organised gang of extortionists are reportedly realising toll from businessmen, transport owners and small traders by threatening them with dire consequences.

The extortionists having blessings of some leaders of the ruling party have become active in extorting money now.

The gang is committing such a crime in the name of top terrorists, who are now either detained or remained fugitive.

Although top terrors of Dhaka’s underworld have either remained fugitive or detained in jail, traders, house owners, restaurant owners, owners of RMG factories and construction firms are held hostage by these notorious criminals and their sidekicks.

Sources in intelligence agencies said the gangsters in absence of their leaders have formed small groups to carry out criminal activities.

These gangsters are systematically realising toll from traders and others by threatening them over telephone.

Abdul Khaleq, a restaurant owner in Motijheel area, alleged that a local criminal gang introducing themselves as sidekicks of top terror Munna has demanded Tk 1 lakh extortion.

“The gang has threatened to shut down my restaurant if the toll money is not given,” he said.

When contacted, DMP Deputy Commissioner (media) Faruq Hossain said it was found in most cases that the callers are totally fake ones.

“As common people get frightened, a quarter and criminals use their names, demand toll and realise the money on different occasions,” he added.

“We have received some news of toll collection in the name of top terrorists in the capital,” he said, urging people not to be afraid of it.

On Saturday night, members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested 10 suspected extortionists with about Tk 7,000 in separate drives in Jatrabari area of the capital.   RAB-3 detectives came to know that some members of an organised extortion gang on Hanif flyover under Jatrabari police station have been threatening to use illegal toll collection receipts from truck drivers and drivers of other vehicles for a long time.

During preliminary interrogation, the arrested confessed that they had illegally been extorting money in different places, including Jatrabari area, for a long time.

RAB Assistant Director Farjana Huq said taking different people hostage, the goons had been carrying out toll collection in Jatrabari and nearby areas for long.

If anyone fails to meet their demand, they (extortionists) threaten to kill them, the RAB officer added.

In order to verify the veracity of the news and take legal action, an expedition team of RAB-3 conducted a special operation on Hanif flyover in Jatrabari on Saturday night and arrested 10 criminals.

They are Munna Khandaker, son of Late Ramzan Ali of Barisal, Alauddin, son of Rafiq Ullah of Habiganj, Mahabubur Rahman, son of Haji AH Rab Mia of Bhola, Sajib, son of Zakir Hossain of Comilla, Rabbi Sheikh, son of Liton Sheikh of Munshiganj, Jewel, son of Babul of Rangpur, Lalon Sarkar, son of Shafiuddin Sarkar of Munshiganj, Billal, son of Monir of Chandpur, Ripon Sheikh, son of Munshiganj and Wasim, son of Abu Bakkar of Shariatpur.

Recently, a special team of Cyber and Special Crime Division of the Detective Branch (DB) police conducted simultaneous drives at Jatrabarti, Motijheel, Turag and Paltan areas in the capital and arrested six active members of “Seven Star Group”.

The DB team under Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) arrested six alleged members of an extortionist gang from different areas of the capital.  The arrestes are Bellal Khan, Rakib Khan Titul, Md. A H Hannan, Md. Delwar Hossain, Md. Sohag and Md. Khorshed Alam. Mobile phone sets, SIM cards and documents used in extortion were also recovered from their possessions.

The arrested gangsters used to work dividing into three groups, police said.

Members of their first group used to collect phone numbers targeting celebrities and established businessmen from different sources.

The members of the 2nd group used to call the targeted people for extortion introducing them as members of top terrorist  gang 'Seven Star Group' in Dhaka and the 3rd group received money through bkash and Nagad, said Walid Hossain.

A victim lodged a complaint to the DB Cyber and Special Crimes division, saying that an unidentified person introducing him as Jisan Mahmud of Malibagh, a member of the so called Seven Star Group, phoned him and demanded Tk 5 lakh  for running the gang.

The group members also threatened to abduct and kill him.

Based on the allegation, the detectives conducted the drives and arrested the six gang members.

Shahadat alone is responsible for 93 extortion incidents in the last several months in Dhaka’s Mirpur, Kafrul, Pallabi, Shah Ali and Darussalam areas, detective sources said.