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ACC given more teeth in last four years

Published : 04 Oct 2020 09:56 PM | Updated : 05 Oct 2020 01:21 AM

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) over the last four years has taken various special steps to promote the values of honesty and integrity in order to prevent corruption.

“Now the corrupt people know it very well that none will be spared whoever they might be. If they are found guilty in indulging in corruption, they would surely face charges,” ACC Chairman Iqbal Mahmood told Bangladesh Post on Sunday.  

He said that those who believed that they would get away despite committing crimes, they are completely wrong. The offenders must face trials.

“The ACC is now stronger than ever before,” the ACC Chairman claimed. 

The Awami League government under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken a zero tolerance policy against corruption and irregularities irrespective of their political affiliation.

“We are working very hard to establish a stronger institution (ACC) that would work to prevent societies from corrupt practices. Our mission is to promote good practices so that people understand the good values of honesty,” Iqbal Mahmood said.

Meanwhile, ACC is now empowered to amend laws and regulations and file cases directly at its own office without going to any police station. 

The activities of the intelligence division of ACC were expanded to district level. It has also set up own server for information technology and call records following the movements of suspected corrupt officials.

The anti-graft agency also launched a special hotline – 106 (toll free number) to receive allegations of corruption from common people. Last year, the ACC picked up 1 lakh 47 thousand 524 phone calls over the hotline.

Based on the valid allegations more than 1000 raids were conducted. For this, the ACC has formed an rapid enforcement unit. The agency has entered into an information exchange agreement with Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU), the financial intelligence wing of Bangladesh Bank, to collect information on corruption and money laundering. 

In addition, the number of officers involved in inquiry and investigation from the Director General to the Deputy Assistant Director has been almost doubled throughout the period. Furthermore, the United States intelligence agency trained ACC officials in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Department of Justice Prosecution and Investigation.

In various corruption cases the watchdog agency arrested nearly a thousand people, in 2019 assets worth Tk 436 crore were seized, as well as total fine of Tk 3,497 crore have also been realized in different ACC cases. They also confiscated the assets of more than five hundred prominent people including PK Haldar, OC Pradeep Kumar Das, Md Shahed and many more.

Talking to Bangladesh Post, rights activist Manash Barua believes that the anti-graft watchdog body has a bigger role to play in the country’s development.

He said filing case against corrupt government officials, and inquiring into alleged individuals is not the end of work. Empowering and dedicating on service of motherland would be their goal. Last but not least they deserve credits for setting up example that no one can escape committing corruption.