Home Bangladesh AL MP killed in Kolkata for his alleged involvement with Tk 4,000 cr gold smuggling
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AL MP killed in Kolkata for his alleged involvement with Tk 4,000 cr gold smuggling

Industry Desk: Murdered Bangladesh Awami League MP Anwarul Azim Anar, whose chopped up body was found by the Kolkata Police in a New Town flat earlier yesterday morning, had allegedly ‘gobbled up’ almost Taka 4,000 crore linked to an elaborate cross-border gold smuggling and hundi racket, investigations by law enforcement agencies on both sides of the India-Bangladesh border have revealed.

Well-placed sources in Kolkata Police suspect the involvement of politicians in West Bengal in the gold smuggling ring which has been in operation along the border for years, reports Northeast News.

In fact, Anar was charge-sheeted by a Chuadanga court for smuggling 12.95 kg gold that was caught by officers of the erstwhile Bangladesh Rifles (BDRF) in 2007 at Darshana, a border town.

Even as police detectives in West Bengal were tightlipped about Anar’s Indian associates and the real motive behind his murder – two persons in Bengal and three in Bangladesh have been arrested so far – sources suspect the involvement of local politicians on this side of the border.

The proceeds of cross-border gold smuggling would be conducted through the hundi route which leaves little or no paper trail.

What Kolkata Police sleuths are finding particularly intriguing is the 56-year-old Anar’s plans to travel to New Delhi. While they are yet to uncover who he was scheduled to meet in New Delhi, a statement filed (on May 18) by Gopal Biswas, a resident of Mandalpara Lane in Kolkata, revealed that Anar visited his house around 7 pm on May 12 evening.

Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) sources have confirmed that Anar crossed the Darshana border at 2:40 pm on May 12 before proceeding towards Kolkata. A jeweller, Biswas revealed that he knew Anar for the past “20-25 years”.

In a video clip, one of Anar’s daughters, says that her father held a “red” (diplomatic) passport and that he carried a bag when he crossed over from Darshana. Anar took a battery-operated pakhi (local Bengali term) van to reach the border immigration check post.

On May 13, Anar left Biswas’ house at 1:41 pm to supposedly proceed for a medical check-up. Before leaving Biswas’ house, Anar said that he would have dinner in the evening and then got into a car parked in front of Calcutta Public School.

Anar did not return to Biswas’ house in the evening but supposedly sent a WhatApp message to say that he was “leaving for Delhi for an important reason”. He added that he would call Biswas once he reached Delhi and cautioned his associate not to call him.

In his statement, Biswas says that Anar sent him a WhatsApp message at 11:21 am on May 15, claiming that he had reached Delhi and that he was “in the midst of VIPs, so do not call me”.

Anar shared the same message with his family – his wife and two daughters – and his “PA” (personal assistant).

On the morning of May 16, Anar’s PA called his boss but was unable to get through. One of Anar’s daughters called the PA to claim that she had not been able to get across to her father over phone. Anar maintained two mobile phones that had Bangladeshi and Indian SIM cards.

Subsequently, the PA called up several of Anar’s associates and contacts but with any success.

Biswas says in his statement that he filed a missing person’s “diary” at Baranagar police station in Kolkata on May 18. The Kolkata Police is now making efforts to find out whether Anar actually visited Delhi or not.

While the Kolkata Police have arrested two persons in West Bengal, state level intelligence sources said that the real story – and the motive – behind Anar’s gruesome murder and the well-oiled gold smuggling and hundi racket “is closely linked to politicians on both sides of the India-Bangladesh border”.

The Kolkata Police is faced with two “sensitive” streams of investigation: first, was Anar waylaid after leaving Biswas’ house and by whom?

Second, whose apartment in New Town was he murdered? Sources across the border suspect that the New Town apartment likely belongs to one of his Bangladeshi associates who identity Northeast News is not revealing for legal reasons.

Inquiries in Kaliganj – Anar was MP from Jhenaidah-4 constituency – by Northeast News indicate that he held at least 19 benami properties, all in the names of Hindus, in and Kaliganj.

He also owned petrol pumps, gold jewellery stores in Kolkata, ran construction and real estate businesses – led by Doreen Enterprises – and was deeply involved in casinos and drug smuggling which are allegedly operated by his long-time associate Shaheenur Rahman Shaheen of Kot Chandpur in Jhenaidah.

Anar slipped into the world of crime as far back as 1986. He subsequently took to gold smuggling along the India-Bangladesh border and came in close contact with Indian operatives and politicians.

The 2007 gold smuggling (12.94 kg) case, in which Anar was one of 25 accused persons, was first reported to the police by a person called Saiful Islam of Darshana. Islam was later killed at a place called Jora Bot-tala.

In 2014, when Anar was first elected as an MP on an Awami League ticket, the cases against all the accused persons were dropped. He was re-elected in 2019 and 2024.

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