Arms haul: Dhaka to question former ministers

May 19th, 2009 - 12:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, May 19 (IANS) Several ministers in the former Khaleda Zia government may be questioned in the sensational Chittagong arms haul that was meant for Indian insurgents, a media report Tuesday quoted the public prosecutor as telling a court.
Two former Bangladesh Army generals, who oversaw the aborted operation in April 2004 and were nabbed last week, are “tight-lipped” before the interrogators, New Age newspaper said.

Ten truck-load of arms, purchased from China with the help of a United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based firm belonging to a Pakistani businessman, were brought on a ship owned by a lawmaker close to Zia. They were detected by vigilant guards.

Media reports have said that the arms were meant for United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), an insurgent group operating in India’s northeast.

Investigators attach “great importance” to the interrogation of the two arrested former spy agency chiefs - Major General (retd) Rezzakul Haider Chowdhury and Brigadier General (retd) Abdur Rahim.

The newspaper said the interrogators expect to get more information on the “involvement of foreign actors, including the embassy of a South Asian country and the Dubai-based business firm ARY (Aga Rahman Yusuf) Group owned by a Pakistani national and allegedly financed by an intelligence agency.”

Quoting arrested former National Security Intelligence (NSI) director (security) wing commander (retd) Sahab Uddin’s confessional statement, public prosecutor Kamaluddin told The Daily Star newspaper that Abdur Rahim held several meetings with representatives of the UAE-based business firm ARY group in Dubai and in Dhaka.

Media reports have said the Zia government suppressed the arms haul case. But the case was revived by the caretaker government that ruled during 2007-08.

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