A Dhaka court on Sunday sent to jail Abdur Rahman Bodi ruling Awami League MP from Teknaf and Ukhiya constituency at Cox's Bazar after his surrender before it in connection with an Anti Corruption Case (ACC) filed against him for amassing wealth illegally.
Md Maruf Hossain Metropolitan Magistrate passed the order after Bodi appeared before the court and sought bail in the case. Earlier on August 21 the ACC filed a case against him as the anti-corruption body found evidence of Bodi's corruption.
The ACC decided to sue Bodi after getting evidence against him during its investigation that began on January 22. Criticising the ACC, the MP in September said he would resign if anybody could prove his involvement in corruption.
As per the FIR, Abdur Rahman Bodi submitted his wealth statement to the ACC on February 23 mentioning his and his family's wealth worth about Tk 5.2 crore.
Examining his income tax return, the ACC probe found that he acquired over Tk 16.07 crore in last five years (2009-13) and earned illegal wealth worth nearly Tk 11 crore.
Bodi in his wealth report also mentioned an additional amount of nearly Tk 2 crore showing a higher price of his sold assets to make it legal.
The property value of Bodi rose to Tk 2.88 crore from Tk 47.78 lakh in the last five years, according to his wealth statements submitted to the Election Commission before the 2008 and the January 5 elections. Five years back his yearly income was only Tk 2 lakh, which increased to Tk 15 crore last year.
A list, prepared by the Department of Narcotics Control (DNC), says Cox's Bazar-4 MP Abdur Rahman Bodi is the person in control of the route, and many other works under him in the illegal drug trade.
The list names 10 people including his brother, several in-laws, uncle and nephew It names Bodi's brothers Abdul Shukkur, Mujibur Rahman, step-brothers Abdul Amin, Faisal Rahman, his in-law Akhter Kamal, Shahed Kamal, uncle Haider Ali, cousin Kamrul Islam Russel, nephew 'Nipu' and many of his followers.
Senior law enforcement officials in Cox's Bazar are saying they have already begun cracking down on the drug traders on the list. They said orders from the top were not to let go of anyone influential, and they were doing just that.
A field-level official, however, said they were "cutting the branches before felling the tree."
Teknaf's Awami Swechchasebak League President Jahed Hossain Jaku, who was listed by the Ministry of Home Affairs as a Yaba trader, died in a 'gunfight' with RAB and BGB along with one associate recently. Locals said Jaku was close to Bodi, MP.
According to Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), Yaba enters Bangladesh chiefly through 45 points on the border of Cox's Bazar with Myanmar. The DNC list says there are over 1,200 Yaba dealers in the country. In a 2012 list, this figure was 554.
A law-enforcement official seeking anonymity told The Daily Observer on Sunday that Bodi was one of the main targets of the Yaba bust. "That's why we've started arresting his associates first. This will weaken him." The official said a drive would be led against Bodi after "orders come from above."
A narcotics department official said drug traders would be dealt with properly no matter what their political background. "The Home Ministry has prepared a combined list. It includes not just our list but those from other agencies as well," DNC sources said.
Meanwhile, supporters of Bodi and activists of Cox's Bazar Awami League barricaded the Cox's Bazar-Teknaf Highway in Ukhiya and Teknaf upazilas on Sunday protesting the detention of Bodi in the graft case.
Our Cox's Bazar correspondent adds: All types of vehicular traffic movements came to a halt since morning as the supporters placed fences in 21 points on the highway rallying for his release.
Ronjit Das General Manager of Cox's Bazar District Bus Association told our correspondent that all buses were suspended for security reasons since 11:30am. "Many buses are stuck on the road."
Shyamal Kanti Nath, Superintendent of Police (SP) of Cox's Bazar said, "Efforts are on to clear the road and the situation is being handled cautiously to avert chaos." "Additional police force has been deployed," he added.