'Golden Monir' and organized crime in Bangladesh
W e are literally appalled by the series of exposed scams of Monir Khan, commonly known as 'Golden Monir'. His jaw-dropping tale of looting people's land, gold smuggling and money laundering, among other crimes for decades has given us a clear understanding , how fearlessly a number of swindlers have been plundering our country.
Monir amassed unbelievable amount of wealth with the help of his accomplices. His patrons are allegedly the high officials in Rajuk and the public works ministry. The most remarkable part of this story is that Monir started grabbing land since 2001 and continued to do so until recently. It took almost 20 years to catch the con artist.
Different media reports have said that during the BNP-led government, Monir became influential with the help of a minister and the then Rajuk chairman. Thanks to his blarneying skill. Even after changing of government, he still managed to get similar bureaucratic blessing for earning ill-gotten wealth from existing public officials.
We fervently demand to know how he managed to acquire plots worth Tk 200 crore in various areas of Dhaka, as well as operate with 25 bank accounts while transacting a mammoth Tk 930 crore under several dubious schemes. From just a salesman of Gausia Market to a property magnate - what miracle brought him fortune! He excelled himself in the art of manipulation and maintained close connections with all the right people in the right places.
However, RAB has discovered Monir's relations with top Rajuk officials, which allowed him to be involved in recruitments within Rajuk as well as with land deals. Using forged land ownership documents, including forged Rajuk documents and fake official seals, Monir would take over land belonging to other people, accumulating wealth of over Tk 1,050 crore.
Yet, the 'Golden Monir' saga is another text-book example of organised crime in Bangladesh.
We appreciate RAB for arresting Monir and revealing his crimes, as well as those masterminds and high-ups who enabled him to carry them out unimpeded. We hope RAB will continue its investigation. These drives against criminals and corrupt officials are certainly something that the public would like to see which is therefore laudable. Last year, a similar drive to bust illegally run casinos was an exemplary one.
We believe all such anti-corruption drives will continue. And justice should be ensured. Like Monir -- all public officials those had been engaged to assist him -- depriving citizens of land, property and other assets that are rightfully theirs - must be reprimanded.
Monir is not alone; there are many Monirs hiding among us. We need to catch them all and punish those perpetrators along with their patrons.