Two former intelligence chiefs held in Bangladesh

May 16th, 2009 - 8:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, May 16 (DPA) Investigators Saturday detained two former chiefs of Bangladesh’s National Security Intelligence (NSI) for their alleged connection with an aborted bid to smuggle a huge cache of arms and ammunition five years ago.
Police detectives arrested retired Major General Rezaqul Haider Chowdhury and retired Brigadier General Abdur Rahim at their homes in Dhaka early Saturday, an officer said.

Rahim was the head of National Security Intelligence while Haider was director of the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence, the military agency involved in the haul of 10 truckloads of arms and ammunition at a government jetty in the port city of Chittagong on April 2, 2004.

Haider also served as national intelligence director later.

Investigators said both the former security bosses were being taken to Chittagong, to testify in a trial of other former officials previously charged in the smuggling case.

Police officials did not specify the charges filed against the two retired military chiefs.

They were arrested based on confessions by another former National Security intelligence director, retired wing commander Sahabuddin, and field officer Akbar Hossain Khan, who were arrested earlier.

In his statement to the Chittagong court, Sahabuddin implicated several senior intelligence officers and officials at the Prime Minister’s Office during the five-year rule of Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led alliance of Khaleda Zia.

Police recovered a total of 4,930 sophisticated firearms; 27,020 grenades; 840 rocket launchers; 300 accessories of rocket launchers; 2,000 grenade-launching tubes; 6,392 magazines and more than one million bullets while they were being loaded onto trucks from motorboats at Chittagong Urea Fertilizer Ltd’s jetty April 2, 2004.

It was the biggest arms’ cache haul in the country’s history. The security experts indicated that the arms and ammunitions were being transported to some other places across the Bangladesh border.

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