No case has yet been filed in connection with the gold and foreign currency haul from a Purana Paltan flat by the Custom Intelligence and Investiga-tion Department (CIID).
Tofail Ahmed, Office-in-Charge of Paltan Police Station told The Daily Observer on Friday that the CIID did not yet file a case in this regard.
A CIID search of the flat, assisted by Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), Thursday yielded local currency amounting to Tk 4.5cr in cash, Saudi and UAE denominated currency worth Tk 15 lakh and 528 gold bars weighing 61.5 kgs having a street value of Tk 20 crore.
CIID Director General Mainul Khan said, "Mohammad Ali has been under surveillance for a long time. He has long been suspected of involvement in the hundi and gold smuggling businesses."
His passport shows several visits to Dubai, the official said, and investigators will look into his travel, contacts, possible links to Biman officials recently arrested for gold smuggling and a Sirajganj upazila chairman that Mohammad Ali claims is the owner of the gold.
"Officials began the operation around 5:00pm at Apartment 7, House 29/1, Purana Paltan owned by Mohammad Ali and recovered the valuables after conducting the drive for nearly two hours," DMP Deputy Commissioner Masudur Rahman told The Daily Observer.
Deputy Director of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Department Mostafizur Rahman told this correspondent that flat owner Mohammad Ali claimed he had 235 Saudi Riyals in his house but the drive yielded a huge sum of money hidden away in holes inside the wardrobe and even in holes inside the walls of the house, he said. Officials said counting the money took some time because they "have to note down the serial numbers of the bills."
Mohammad Ali, the flat owner, said there was around Tk 4 crore in his hoard of cash. But he said the gold bars that the CIID officials recovered do not belong to him.
Mohammad said Sirajganj Sadar Upazila Chairman Riaz Uddin, a close associate, asked him to hold the gold in his house for him. He said he did not know anything else about it.
Asked about the currency, Mohammad said he was a businessman and the owner of Ali Sweets in the capital's Dhanmondi neighbourhood. He said he had a property development company called "Sava."
He said as a businessman he needed available cash and because transferring or carrying money to and from the bank is not safe, he keeps a large amount at home. A member of the National Board of Revenue, Fariduddin, said at the briefing that the operation was a success and such drives would increase.