Former IGP Benazir Ahmed left the country amid corruption allegations

Former IGP Benazir Ahmed left the country amid corruption allegations

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There is nothing in the ACC Act about banning foreign travel of persons under investigation. On 20 December 2020, the ACC issued a letter to the Immigration Police Superintendent (Airport), asking him to take measures to prevent a person named Ataur Rahman from leaving the country. The ACC had said that an investigation is going on regarding Ataur Rahman's assets beyond his known sources of income.

Ataur filed a writ in the High Court challenging the validity of the letter. The High Court delivered its verdict on 16 March 2021, stating that until a specific law or regulation comes into force, permission from the relevant court will have to be sought to prevent any person under investigation from going abroad. The court further said, this is the right time to implement the relevant law or regulation to prevent any person from leaving the country.

The ACC sought permission to appeal against the High Court's decision. On 27 September 2021, the Appellate Division disposed of the appeal with an observation. After the full judgment was pronounced, ACC counsel Khurshid Alam Khan said that the court has said that any ban on someone leaving the country should be informed to the court within three days of its imposition.

So far, the ACC has not appealed to the court to stop Benazir from leaving the country. Speaking to Prothom Alo, ACC Khurshid Alam said that it is not possible to stop Benazir from going abroad unless there is evidence that her property has been acquired through illegal means. The ACC still does not know whether her property has been acquired through illegal means or not.

ACC officials have said several times that they do not know where Abdul Hai is. Neither the ACC nor law enforcement agencies have clarified whether he is in the country or not. No apparent attempt has been made to arrest Abdul Hai.

In 2009, the Awami League government appointed regional Jatiya Party leader Sheikh Abdul Hye as chairman of Basic Bank. He resigned in mid-2014 amid allegations of irregularities and corruption. Later, an ACC investigation found that Abdul Hye had embezzled Tk 22.65 billion (Tk 2265 crore) from Basic Bank and sent it out of the country.

These incidents of money misappropriation were happening with the knowledge of the government. The then Finance Minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhit, speaking inside and outside the parliament, compared the misappropriation of funds at Basic Bank to outright robbery. Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh said in 2009 that it was the failure of the ACC that Abdul Hyee was not arrested even after such a huge scam.

Countless reports were published in the media about Abdul Hai's irregularities and corruption. Instead of taking action against him, some agencies put pressure on the media not to publish reports about his misdeeds.

In September 2015, the ACC filed 56 cases against 156 people in connection with the BASIC Bank scam. But Abdul Hai was not among the accused. Eight years later, in June 2023, Abdul Hai was named an accused in a chargesheet of 58 cases. The ACC did not arrest Abdul Hai in all these years and did not even prevent him from leaving the country.

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