Mustafa Ali Noor
Following the arrest of a controversial businessman named Salim Prodhan, while most of the newspapers in Bangladesh are mostly publishing imaginary stories centering this dubious individual, a team of investigative journalists of Blitz tried to know as to how a man, who was employed with a spa and beauty saloon in Dhaka with monthly salary of less than US$ 150 per month suddenly emerged as a wealthy businessman having business establishments in a number of countries.
According to the website of Prodhan Group, it has the following establishments, which is owned by Salim Prodhan:
P24 Law Firm (Private) Limited. In the website, it is stated, “The P24 Law Firm (Pvt.) Ltd. is the only law firm, first time ever creating a bridge between the two states i.e. Bangladesh and Thailand, after their independence to crate [create] a strong knot between the two nations by establishing their legal firms in both countries.
“Our missions are to take genuine interest in our clients, understand their goals and to meet or exceed their expectations by providing superior legal services on a timely effective and efficient basis by maintaining the high standard of professional integrity. We are committed to provide dependable and justifiable legal solutions to our clients whether it arises locally, nationally or internationally.
“Whether in the courtroom or at the negotiable table we are dedicated to excellence in the practice of law.
“Our vision is to eliminate barriers to justice through high quality legal services. We believe the success of our firm has only one measure: the success of the clients serve. We are not only offering immigration services or offshore company setup/Private Company Setup in Thailand but also proffering extensive range of legal services in the files of Civil, Criminal, Commercial Banking, Intellectual property, Telecommunications, Employment and Labour law and so on.
“Nowadays, providing ultimate service to our clients means advancing our position as knowledgeable, multi-disciplinary service providers with global competence. Our paramount view is that legal services at all times should underpin the clients’ needs and business objects. Soon we are going to introduce our legal offices in different parts of the world to protect our clients’ demands and interests. We are open 24 hours of our clients and members, protecting their legal interests overwhelmingly on any required mater”.
Our curiosity: Without holding a law degree, how Salim Prodhan has established a law firm or what is the hidden agenda of this firm?
P24 Gaming: According to the website of this enterprise claims to be a “premier developer and publisher of entertainment software”.
It further said, “Our customers include approximately 150 operators including the majority of tier 1s across Bangladesh and a number of land-based casinos. We work in partnership with our customers in established gambling markets to deliver world-leading Live Casino solutions designed to maximize every opportunity. In addition, we constantly anticipate and prepare for new and re-regulating markets so that our customers can win vital early market share. We are active in the fastest growing casino segment in Asia. Key underlying market drivers include technological developments, new distribution channels such as mobile, the regulation of markets and increasing strategic importance of Live Casino products among operators. One of Evolution’s financial objectives is to grow faster than the total Asian Live Casino market. P24 Gaming Company Ltd was established in December 7, 2018 as one of the first providers of B2B Live Casino solutions in Bangladesh. During our active years, we have built a platform with high operational efficiency and scalability”.
What does it mean? From this website, it is clearly proved that Salim Prodhan has been actively participating in spreading casino business in Bangladesh and had also played a role in expanding the area of gambling up to mobile phone sets. He possibly is behind the supply of slot machines and other casino materials to those 60 plus illegal casinos in the country.
Prodhan House: Although the website gives lengthy narration of the activities of this enterprise of Salim Prodhan, the real goal of it is actually supplying “female escorts” under the garb of “Personal Assistant”. In the name of “enriching lifestyle, global connections and association” of the members of this establishment, Salim Prodhan was actually working as a pimp of a network of sex workers in a number of countries including Russia, India, Ukraine, Poland, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Iran, United States and even Bangladesh.
In the website of Prodhan House, Salim Prodhan has openly made claims of having a “powerful global connections”, clearly with the ulterior motive of attracting people.
In the website of Prodhan Group, Salim Prodhan is projected as a man with massive international connections. It says, “Salim Prodhan, aged 38, the Chairman of the company is a graduate from reputed foreign institute. After completion of his education he entered into business. He has built up business chains and involved with the following companies: Assured Card services, JB Curry in Japan and Raindrip Entertainment, Global Investment Group (Public Limited Company) in USA. He has business links in England (London), Mexico, Canada, India, Thailand, Pakistan, Singapore, Korea, China, Taiwan & Hong Kong. Government of the people’s republic of Bangladesh has declared him CIP for outstanding performance in business. He has widely traveled all over the world”.
We have not corrected English in the above paragraph simply to prove, how a man with such English capability could at all be someone having massive connections in the world.
Salim Prodhan a creation of BNP
From the website, it is learnt that Prodhan Group began its journey back in 2006 and owns a number of enterprises including P24 Law Firm (Pvt.) Ltd., Japan-Bangladesh Security Printing & Papers Ltd (JBSPPL), AU Entertainment, P24 Gaming, Prodhan House and Prodhan Magazine.
In our investigation it was revealed that Salim Prodhan’s fortune clicked through his intimacy with infamous Giasuddin Mamun, a corrupt individual who had amassed billions of takas with the help of his “partner” Tarique Rahman. It may be mentioned here that, Mamun and Tarique are bisexual.
Salim Prodhan succeeded in entering the inner circle of Tarique and Mamun by supplying girls from various countries. Later in 2006, he finally had established the racket of gambling and sex trade under the umbrella of Prodhan Group, with the active support from Giasuddin Mamun. It is also learnt that Salim was one of the top dealers for Mamun and Tarique in smuggling out hundreds of millions of dollars to Malaysia, United Kingdom and other nations in the world. He even made an effort of establishing a transnational drug trafficking business by joining hands with drug rackets in Mexico and Columbia and had offered major portion of shares to Giaduddin Mamun. A greedy Mamun readily accepted the offer and until the end of BNP’s tenure in 2006, they have continued this illegal trade thus making huge sum of money.
Salim Prodhan’s website also makes false claim of owning a record label, while in the name of producing movies, TV series and TV programs as well as “Artist Management” and “Artist Merchandise product”, Salim was actually luring females and finally turning them into sex workers.
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