According to an exclusive report published in the vernacular newspaper Jamjamat, anticipating his arrest, Jubo League leader and casino don Ismail Chowdhury Samrat has already made a video message, where he has mentioned names of those who were receiving a monthly payment from him. Jamjamat said, several copies of the video message were handed to some trusted comrades of Samrat with the instruction of leaking those to the media, once he was arrested. In the video, Ismail Chowdhury Samrat has even shown some evidence of paying casino money to influential leaders, editors, journalists and members of the law enforcing agencies.
Meanwhile, prominent Indian newspaper the Business Standard on September 29 has published a lengthy report titled ‘The rise and fall of Dhaka’s casino kingpin Samrat’.
Nothing will happen to Samrat
According to Business Standard report, Ismail Chowdhury Samrat had taken shelter at the residence of an influential member of Jubo League, who had been the top beneficiary of such illegal casinos, extortions and other activities of Samrat and similar culprits like him. A desperate Samrat took shelter at the residence of the leader with the hope of getting his help in fleeing the country. The leader reportedly had assured Samrat of doing something on the return of the Prime Minister from the United Nations General Assembly. Taking this word as a sign of huge support to Samrat, few Bangladesh Chhatra League and Jubo League members told the Business Standard, “He will be back soon. We will celebrate his return. Nothing will happen to him”.
Samrat would be arrested anytime
Several sources told Blitz, the millionaire casino kingpin of Dhaka, Ismail Hossain Chowdhury Samrat, will end up in law enforcement custody soon. Although both the home minister and the road transport and bridges minister have asked the public to “wait and see” how events turn out, intelligence sources informed this newspaper that his arrest is imminent.
Who is Ismail Chowdhury Samrat?
Following the ongoing crackdown on the casinos, Samrat became a headline of the newspaper reports. People are asking – who is Samrat and when did the Dhaka south city unit of Jubo League president took control of Dhaka’s underworld, earning millions through his control over illegal gambling operations, extortion and tender manipulation.
According to the Business Standard, starting out as Chhatra League leader in 1990, Samrat’s duty back then was to organize protests in different parts of the capital, aimed at ousting HM Ershad from power. He was later jailed and tortured for his role in the movement.
In 1991 Samrat joined the Jubo League, where Nurunnabi Chowdhury Shawon, the then city unit president of the front, played a key-role in his rise to power.
Samrat became an influential leader during the 1996-2001 tenure of the Awami League government and retained his position as a top leader during the 1/11 changeover.
Later in 2008, when Awami League was voted to power again after the tenure of the caretaker government, Samrat continued his rise through the ranks, ending up as the Dhaka south city unit Jubo League president at its sixth council on July 14, 2012.
According to intelligence sources, a complaint letter was sent to the Prime Minister’s Office around two months ago, claiming that extortion, tender manipulation and the drug trade could not be controlled in Dhaka because of Ismail Chowdhury Samrat and his cohorts. Immediate action was sought to that effect. That action came earlier this month, when Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) on September 18, raided illegal casinos being run out of sporting clubs in Dhaka.
Samrat is reported to have been the main mastermind of Dhaka’s gambling scene, and therefore, a key suspect.
Samrat already arrested?
Several sources including those from the law enforcement agencies told this newspaper that Ismail Chowdhury Samrat has already been detained following the ongoing crackdown against the casino and illegal business in Dhaka. Now the law enforcing agencies are looking for the video message that Samrat has left with his trusted men immediately before leaving his Bhuiyan Mansion office in Dhaka’s Kakrail area. Law enforcing agencies are also looking for one of Samrat’s cohorts and a Jubo League leader named Titu, who was mainly running illegal drugs trade. Titu is the son of an infamous film producer and they were arrested by the members of the law enforcing agencies in 2007 for selling pornographic materials.