BANGLADESH: 4 fake journos arrested on extortion charges in Ctg

Man posing as the editor of a fake newspaper fails a second time to extort money from a police officer

The Daily Star
Monday, July 28, 2008

Police yesterday arrested four fake journalists of a so-called newspaper on charge of demanding extortion from the Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) commissioner at his office in the port city.

The arrestees were identified as editor of the Ajker Padma Mostafizur Rahman Mukul, 44, chief reporter M Ryhan Chowdhury, 34, Chittagong bureau chief AM Towhid, 30, and reporter-cum-advertisement manager Emdadul Islam Rubel, 23.

CMP sources said the arrestees went to the office of CMP Commissioner M Akbar Ali at around 4:00pm while the commissioner was holding a departmental meeting with the CMP officers.

After completion of the meeting, the commissioner called the editor in his office while the rest were waiting outside. At one stage of the conversation, Mukul told the commissioner that he was running with empty pocket and demanded some money from the commissioner.

Sensing their motive, the commissioner informed the matter to the journalists of the port city. "Mukul demanded some money from me saying that he was in financial crisis and his pockets are now empty," Commissioner Akbar Ali told reporters in his office.

"Then I called all of them inside the room and asked my officers to take action against those fake newsmen," he said, adding, "Mukul had earlier approached me when I was the CO (commanding officer) of Rab2 in Dhaka and demanded money giving reference of the then director general (DG) Mizanur Rahman. But, he apologised to me soon I tried to make a call to the DG."

An extortion case would be filed in this connection, informed the commissioner.

When asked, Mukul said he came to Chittagong from Dhaka for advertisement purposes and went to Chittagong Port, Chittagong City Corporation, Bangladesh Shipping Corporation and Railway for advertisements.

The attending newsmen were hurling a salvo of questions at the fake editor. But his was mostly irrelevant and he also failed to specify anything about his newspaper.

Sources said so-called chief reporter Ryhan is a pharmacy owner while bureau chief Towhid is a car driver and reporter-cum-advertisement manager Rubel is also a shop owner at Oxygen intersection in the port city.