The Stolen Freedom of Salim Prodhan
By: Justice Now
Salim's ingenuity and work ethic let to many successes - from online gambling and fashion to spas and salons. Prodhan was also at the helm of the Japan Bangladesh Group, a corporation responsible for the first major security printing press in Bangladesh's private sector.
Unfortunately the business of extortion is booming in Bangladesh. Undercover reporting by Al Jazeera has provided proof of recent criminal acts by Haris Ahmed, the brother of General Aziz Ahmed, the Bangladeshi chief of army staff. The Ahmed family has a long history of gang activity and political terrorism dating back to the 1980's.. Haris fled the country but was later forged a new identity by his well connected brother Aziz, who was well trusted by Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Haris Ahmed reinvented himself as Mohammed Hasan, a businessman with special connections and clout in Bangladesh. Al Jazeera's undercover camera's caught him boasting about his personal use of the Rapid Action Battalion.- a widely feared para military group in Bangladesh.
On September 30th, 2019, at the behest of Haris Ahmed, the RAB removed Salim from his flight on the runway of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. Although there was no official warrant for his arrest issued, Salim was arrested for money laundering and anti-corruption. The alleged charges include possession of deer skins, local and foreign currency and narcotics (alcohol) all of which were found at Salim's office after he was already apprehended. Although the result was only a six month sentence under Bangladesh's Wildlife Conservation Act, Salim is still unjustly imprisoned to this day.
Even more bewildering is the fact that none of these charges would stand in an unbiased court. Alcohol is illegal in Bangladesh unless it's for foreigners' consumption. As an international businessman Salim was prepared to play host to a wide variety of tastes. In regards to the discovery of foreign currencies, several Euros were gifts given to Salim and his wife, a native of Russia, when they'd visit Europe on business and/or vacations. The alleged money laundering charges stem from business connections with those accused of committing the crime but who have not been caught. As for the anti-corruption charges, Prodhan's superior went to Las Vegas on a vacation and gambled there as well as online, but Salim himself had not visited the USA since 2004.
It is clear that Salim Prodhan has become another victim of the Ahmed family and Bangladesh's ruthless corruption. This man's freedom was stolen from him.