How Sikder brothers employed foreign armed bodyguards?
Published : Sunday, 31 May, 2020 at 12:00 AM Count : 327
Sikder Group Managing Director Ron Haque Sikder and brother Dipu Haque Sikder allegedly employed personnel bodyguards, mostly Thais, armed with heavy guns in contravention of the law of the land, according to sources of law enforcing agencies.
Both the Sikdar brothers left the country by a private air ambulance on May 27 while a criminal case against them is under investigation. The law enforcing agencies who are investigating the case have not been informed of their leaving the country.
Ron and Dipu used to move from one place to another accompanied by several foreign bodyguards carrying firearms.
The duo left the country showing documents related to medical treatment, said Group Captain AHM Touhid ul-Ahsan, Director of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.
Sources say, permission for landing of the aircraft was sought by the Bangladesh Embassy in Bangkok from the Thai foreign ministry which allowed the aircraft to land.
Due to an active travel ban for the Covid-19 pandemic, no international passenger flights are operating from Bangladesh, except some chartered flights.
The question arose - how did they manage to employ foreign bodyguards and armed them with heavy guns?
The Home Ministry's Public Security Division issued a notice following the arrest of controversial contractor SM Golam Kibria Shamim with seven bodyguards carrying eight firearms on September 20 last year.
For organisations, necessary numbers of licences are issued to their chief executives. The users of the guns bought with these licences must secure the Home Ministry's no objection certificate following district magistrate's recommendation.
Security firms in Bangladesh employ guards who use personal gun licences. "Any individual holding a gun licence cannot be employed as armed guard for personal security of other individual or individuals or to protect their assets," the Home Ministry notice said.
The punishment for violation of the rules is immediate cancellation of the gun licence, the notice said.
Incidents of pulling licensed guns to frighten people often occur in Bangladesh. The Home Ministry notice also said "some people" were showing guns in public to create panic which is punishable. Such actions are also in violation of the rules, it said.
Who provided the permission to Sikder brothers to employ foreign nationals as bodyguards with arms is not yet clear, sources investigating the case against the Sikder brothers said.
Both the brothers were accused of threatening to shoot and torture two top officials of Exim Bank over a loan issue. Ron Haque a National Bank director and his brother Dipu Haque have been sued for threatening to kill the two top bank executives. A case was filed with Gulshan Police Station on May 19 over the alleged incident of May 7. A retired army officer who is a Director of Exim Bank filed the case against the Sikder duo.
It was stated in the case that the two brothers threatened to abduct and kill Exim Bank Managing Director Mohammed Haider Ali Mia and Additional Managing Director Mohammad Firoz Hossain.
An official of the investigating agency, on condition of not being quoted, told the Daily Observer that they are under pressure from both the parties as they are influential people having connections with top people in the government.