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Benazir and Nafiz took shares of Citizen TV

Tried to occupy Southeast Bank

Staff Correspondent: Chairman of Citizen TV Muhammad Shafiqur Rahman MPsaid that former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Benazir Ahmed and former chairman of Padma Bank Chowdhury Nafiz Sarafat forced to transfer the shares of the TV channel.
Nafiz Sarafat took Shafiqur Rahman, chairman of Citizen TV and former president of National Press Club, from his home to Benazir at around 1 am. Shafiqur Rahman made such a claim in a written statement sent on Thursday to media.
On Thursday, Shafiqur Rahman sent a written statement about the part titled “Benazir’s two daughters in the ownership of Citizen TV” in the report entitled “Benazir emptied his account before seizure” senior Journalist Shafiqur Rahman MP of Chandpur-4 Constituency said. He was the president of the National Press Club during 2016-17 and 2017-18. In April 2017, the government approved the satellite television channel Citizen TV. However, this television has not been broadcast yet.
Shafiqur Rahman said in a written statement, ‘I am the chairman (owner) of Citizen TV.
Initially I did not have any shareholdings. I didn’t even have the money to come on air alone. Razzakul Hossain Tutul, a distant relative of mine, the owner of Root Group, requested that if I take him with me, he will do the house rent, office staff, which costs Tk 30-40 lakhs to come on air. I agreed to his proposal and took him with me. But these days, years go by. In the meantime, I will do all the other approvals required by the government.
He said, ‘Suddenly one night between 12:30 and 1:00 a.m. a young man named Chowdhury Nafiz Sarafat (I did not know him before) came to my Banani’s house, picked me up and took me to Benazir on the ground floor of the Westin Hotel, starting with drama. Apart from Benazir, Nafiz Sarafat, Tutul, two others of unknown appearance were present there. Those who looked armed. Benzir handed me a yellow paper and asked me to sign it. When I started reading the paper, Benjir interrupted and said, Citizen TV will be sports oriented. Showed to two strangers, he is a sports man. You have to come to an agreement with them. This paper is the contract. At one point they speak in a threatening tone. Around 2 am, I was forced to sign.
In his written statement, he also said, “When Tutul was repeatedly asked about the television, he said that Benazir and Nafiz will do everything.” He has nothing. Then I went to RJSC and got Citizen TV with 30 percent shares in my name, 15 percent in the name of Benazir’s two daughters, 25 percent in the name of Nafiz Sarafat and 15 percent in the name of Tutul. 4 to 5 years have passed in this situation. I can’t do anything. They also could not start excluding me according to the law. When asked, he kept making various excuses.
According to the information received, Citizen TV was approved by the government in April 2017 under several conditions. Benazir Ahmed was the Director General of RAB at that time. Even after 7 years of government approval, Citizen TV is still not on air. However, a short notice deposit (SND) account was opened in 2021 in the private EXIM bank in the name of this television channel. The account opening form shows the registration of this channel for the year 2017-2018. Shafiqur Rahman is the chairman of the TV channel and Chowdhury Nafiz Sarafat, the recently resigned chairman of Padma Bank and Benazir’s close friend, is the managing director. Benazir’s eldest daughter Farhin Rishta binte Benazir and younger daughter Tahsin Raisa binte Benazir are named as directors. One of the conditions for approval of Citizen TV is that it should go on air within one year. No shares shall be transferable until two years have elapsed before going into full broadcasting and after going into full broadcasting.
When asked, Shafiqur Rahman told over the phone, “I was not told that the paper I signed was the share transfer paper.” I was blackmailed and written down.’ In response to a question, he said, ‘They played with me.’ When asked about the absence of Tutul’s name on the bank account opening paper, he said, as far as I know, they also took Tutul’s shares.’
Benazir Ahmed could not be reached for comment on the matter. Benjir has been out of the country with his family since May 4. According to a source, he went to the United Arab Emirates with his family from the country. From there, his wife is in Singapore for treatment. Chowdhury Nafiz Sarafat was called for a statement but he did not pick up.
On April 22, the Anti-Corruption Commission started investigating allegations of illegal acquisition of wealth against Benazir Ahmed, his wife Zeeshan Mirza, two daughters Farhin Rishta binte Benazir and Tahsin Raisa binte Benazir. A three-member Special Investigation Team headed by ACC Head Office Deputy Director Hafizul Islam is investigating the allegation. At the request of ACC, BFIU sent letters to various banks seeking information. On May 23, the court ordered the seizure and blocking of 345 bighas (114 acres) of land, 33 accounts of various banks in the name of Benazir and his family members, based on information from the ACC. After this, on May 26, he ordered the seizure of 119 land deeds, 23 company shares and 4 flats in Gulshan. Apart from this, BFIU recently sent a letter asking for intelligence information whether he has any assets in Dubai, Canada, USA.
It is alleged that Chowdhury Nafiz Sharafat was trying to grab Southeast Bank according to the similar practice. He also engaged several intelligent agencies for the bank but finally he has not been able to successful.

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