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Mohammedan Sporting director arrested for illegal possession of alcohol in Dhaka

BCB director Lokman Hossain Bhuiyan (seated right) was arrested for "illegal possession of liquor" BCB

Bangladesh Cricket Board director Lokman Hossain Bhuiyan, also the director-in-charge at Mohammedan Sporting Club, has been arrested for "illegal possession of liquor" in Dhaka. Lokman's arrest by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), an elite anti-crime force of the Bangladesh Police, came three days after a raid in the club premises unearthed evidence of illegal gambling.

"We found five bottles of foreign liquor kept at his home without a license. He was arrested on charges of possessing the bottles of alcohol," RAB-2 commander Lt Col Ashik Billah said after Lokman was taken into custody on Thursday. The daily Prothom Alo has also quoted Lt Col Billah as saying that Lokman had been arrested for renting out rooms in the club premises for gambling activities.

Lokman, also the chairman of BCB's facilities management committee, is among the most influential board officials.

Mohammedan Sporting was among several sports and social clubs in Dhaka that were raided last week, and a number of illegal casinos, which had been in operation for the last three years, were busted. So far, around 150 people, including political leaders, have been arrested as part of the crackdown, which began on September 18.

The police had seized two roulette tables and nine betting boards, as well as walkie-talkies, knives and money counting machines at the Mohammedan premises.

"Personally, I never support such illegal and immoral endeavours, but I was forced to give away the space due to political pressure," Lokman had told The Daily Star in an interview on September 24.

Victoria Sporting Club and Kalabagan Krira Chakra, who have cricket teams in the Dhaka league system, were among the clubs that were raided. Kalabagan club president Shafiqul Alam Feroz was arrested last Friday, and is now in police custody.