railway money scam
ACC quizzes Mridha’s driverStaff Correspondent
The driver of suspended railway general manager Yusuf Ali Mridha said on Wednesday that Mridha had a sack and a luggage with him while he was travelling to Dhaka from Chittagong on April 9.
But Mridha did not carry any sack or bag when Mokhlesur Rahman, the driver, dropped him at his in-laws’ house at Dhanmondi an hour before the railway GM was detained along with three others by Border Guard Bangladesh personnel with Tk 70 lakh, said Mokhlesur.
He was talking to reporters after submitting his statement to the Anti-Corruption Commission at the ACC office in the capital’s Segunbagicha on Wednesday.
Mokhlesur said he had picked up Mridha from Kamalapur Railway Station in the morning of April 9 when he went to Dhaka from Chittagong and dropped him at his residence. ‘He had a sack and a luggage with him.’
Mridha, his wife and railway Nirapatta Bahini commandant Enamul Haque went to his in-laws’ house at Dhanmondi-3 by the car around 9:30am, the driver said.
Mokhlesur was driving the car but he did not see any bag with them, he said.
Omar Faruk Talukder, the sacked assistant personal secretary of the former railway ministry Suranjit Sen Gupta, picked up Mridha and Enamul in his microbus from in front of his in-laws’ house around 10pm, he said.
Summoned by the Anti-Corruption Commission to verify the Tk 70 lakh scandal, Mokhlesur, a government employee, appeared before the ACC around 10am and stayed there for around two hours.
On the night of April 9, border force members seized the money after Faruk’s driver Ali Azam Khan mysteriously drove the microbus straight into Pilkhana headquarters of BGB in the capital at around 11:30pm.
Omar Faruk was sacked and Mridha and Enamul were suspended on April 15 following the incident.
Reportedly, the money is part of the bribe taken from railway job seekers, and the microbus headed for Suranjit’s Jigatola residence.
It may be mentioned that Faruk deposited Tk 70 lakh in his Mercantile Bank’s Dhanmondi branch account on April 11.
Suranjit Sen Gupta was compelled to resign his portfolio five months into taking over as railway minister. He announced his resignation on April 16 taking ‘full responsibility’ for the scam.
The cash haul drew huge flak from different quarters, prompting the ACC, railway ministry and railway department to open separate investigations into the source of the money and the alleged recruitment business in the railway.
The ACC formed a three-member committee to look into the source of the money, the reported recruitment trade and the wealth of Faruk, Mridha and Enamul.
On April 21, Mridha, Faruk and Enamul appeared before the ACC investigators and gave their statements.
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