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Dragnet tightens on shady health officials

Govt mulls confiscating wealth illegally amassed by corrupt officials

Published : 25 Jul 2020 09:23 PM | Updated : 05 Sep 2020 06:08 PM

Intelligence agencies have been given the green light to intensify vigilance on both former and present health sector officials and employees, who allegedly amassed pyramid of wealth.

On getting the instruction from government high-ups, several intelligence agencies and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) have started extra monitoring especially targeting some directors of different government organisations under the health ministry, a source told Bangladesh Post.

The sleuths have already found some primary information of massive corruption and irregularities of many present and former directors of the Directorate General of Health Services, and other senior officials of many government hospitals.

The primary reports were sent to the government high ups and the ACC. The government may decide confiscating the illegal wealth of those corrupt government officials through court order.

Intelligence agencies are desperately working on the latest scams of the Regent Hospital and JKG that have come to light.

During their interrogation, owners of the Regent Hospital and JKG disclosed the names of their patrons. They also described how they were doled out illegal favours in the health sector.

Intelligence said they have already gathered data of these officials of both government and private hospitals. 

Among them, there were some former directors, deputy directors, who had earned large amounts of money through corruption.

They were involved in massive corruption in purchasing equipment and other goods for different hospitals across the country, as well as in the unfair transferring of doctors and other staff. On receiving large amounts of bribes, they had provided illegal facilities to a number of people and organizations including contractors of the health sectors.

Some of the former directors were directly involved in embezzling government funds. 

Intelligence sources on condition of anonymity said they have already found primary evidence of massive corruption in Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Shaheed Suhrawardy Hospital, Shishu Hospital, Sir Salimullah Hospital, National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) and Cancer Hospital.

Some former directors of these organizations earned crores of money by providing illegal facilities to several contractors, and in the name of recruitment of staff.

Those who worked as directors for more than half a decade, became multi-millionaires. Money laundering cases will be filed against them. Government is also planning to confiscate the wealth of these corrupt former directors through court order .

 ACC Director ( Public Relations) Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya said, “ We have summoned several present and former officials for interrogation, and to provide us necessary information.”

The ACC has also lodged many cases against many officials after the primary evidence of corruption was found.

To a question, Pranab said,” It is a wrong perception that if an officer becomes a former officer, his or her corruption will also get hidden.’’

The process of gathering information of all corrupt suspects will continue, he added.

We shall not gather information of officers only, we shall continue our investigation against suspected employees also, he vowed.

Numbers of massive corruption , various types of scandals and scams in the health sector have come to light during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

But the health ministry and health directorate are blaming each other for the corruption and irregularities.

Former director of DGHS ( disease control) Be-Nazir Ahmed said, mismanagements have been prevailing in the health sector since long. Due to these mismanagements, general people have to suffer a lot.

He suggested undertaking long term remedial measures to drive away all mismanagements in the health sector.