Theft of cash, valuables mars women football champions jubilation
Published : Friday, 23 September, 2022 at 12:00 AM Count : 448
Clinching the SAFF Women Football Championship trophy in Nepal unbeaten, the Bangladesh Football Federation's (BFF) women football team led by Sabina, including Krishna Rani Sarker and Shamsunnahar and their team members have received warm reception on their return to the country.
Same time, they have also gone through bitter experiences. After returning to the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) building from the Dhaka airport Wednesday night, they found that their luggage were broken and cash and other valuables stolen.
The BFF has taken formal steps over stealing of dollars from the luggage of two women footballers - Krishna Rani Sarker and Shamsunnahar and filed two separate general diaries (GD) on Thursday.
However, Biman and Civil Aviation officials at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka on Thursday rejected the allegation of theft.
Addressing a press conference at the BFF building on Thursday afternoon, BFF Women Wing Chairman Mahfuza Akter Kiron said, "We have sent letters officially to the Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) about the stealing of money from luggage."
Besides, general diaries have been filed with Motijheel and Airport police stations, she added.
Kiron also said if the stolen money is not found or the persons behind the incident of stealing can't be identified, the BFF itself would return the money to the footballers.
BFF General Secretary Abu Nayeem Sohag, who was present at the press conference, said the Airport Authority and CAAB have already started their investigation. They will inform the CAAB after investigating the matter.
He said the incident of missing or stealing might have happened in Kathmandu.
"We started our journey from Kathmandu. The girls moved at many places including Kathmandu and Dhaka Airport. After arrival at the BFF building, the luggage were here. If necessary, CCTV footage of other places along with the BFF building will be examined," he added.
Besides, Biman and HSIA on Thursday rejected the allegation of loss or damage of luggage of the players of SAFF winning women football team and the representatives of BFF claimed the football players and BFF representatives received their luggage in proper condition.
In a statement on Thursday, Biman, responsible for ground handling services at the Dhaka Airport, claimed that the national flag carrier haven't received any claim of losing property during luggage delivery made on Wednesday after arrival of the football team and BFF representatives.
In the statement Biman said flight BG-372 on Kathmandu-Dhaka route landed in Dhaka at 1:42pm on Wednesday.
"The luggage of the flight was delivered through baggage belt No.-8 at 2:10pm with utmost care and round the clock supervision. The BFF representatives left the airport area with their luggage loaded into two covered vans," Biman added.
It said, "After raising the allegation, Biman on Thursday examined the CCTV footage. After examining the CCTV footage of various areas of the airport, the allegations centring the airport were not found to be true."
Meanwhile, the Airport authorities said the protocol representatives of BFF and two officials of Bangladesh team had received SAFF champions' luggage in a completely intact and locked condition from Biman before leaving the airport, Biman said in a press release signed by Group Captain Kamrul Islam, Executive Director of the airport, on Thursday.
On the basis of the complaint, the authorities of HSIA have examined and analysed the CCTV footage and confirmed that the allegations brought against the airport authorities were not proved.
Regarding the allegations, Krishna's father Basudev Sarker told media that some US$400 was missing from the bag of Krishna while some Nepali currency and clothes were missed from the baggage of Shamsunnahar.
"We have asked the relevant department to see whether there has been a formal claim," said Tahera Khondker, Biman's General Manager of public relations.
Inspector Aslam Uddin Molla of the Airport Police Station says no one has lodged a complaint with them about the issue either.
"If a passenger does not receive their luggage, or it is lost, passengers have to make a complaint to their airline. If a case needs to be filed, the police station is informed."
The team's coach, Golam Rabbani Choton, told media that he had heard claims that Shamsunnahar and Krishna's bags were cut open and dollars stolen.
However, he could not confirm how much money was stolen.
Attempts were made to contact the players on their mobile phones, but they were switched off.