‘Corrupt’ Biman men to be arrested anytime

As part of its stringent investigation against corrupt officials of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has listed 10 officials and employees, whose passports may be seized any time so that they cannot leave the country. The anti-corruption watchdog might also arrest them as the allegations of corruption against them have largely been proven true by now.

Restrictions have been imposed on Biman officials, including its former managing director and CEO, A M Masaddique Ahmed, labelled as corrupt, on leaving the country.Restriction is also coming for 50 more officials and employees of the Biman. In the meantime, statement has been taken from five officials, including three directors of the state-owned organization.

The listed officials include, MD A M Masaddique Ahmed, CBA leader Moshiqur Rahman, traffic supervisor Jakir Hossain, commercial supervisor Rafiqul Alam, ground supervisor Mizanur Rahman, ground supervisor AKM Masum Billah, junior commercial officer Maruf Mehdi Hassan, commercial officer Jaowat Tarik Khan, Mahfuzul Karim Siddique and Golam Kaisar Ahammed.

As per ACC information, written restriction letter including passport and national identity numbers of the corrupt officials has already been issued to all the international airports and immigration departments, including at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. Passport of these corrupted officials can be seized at any time, and they even can be arrested.

It was also known that the corrupt officials are trying to leave the country. In the meantime, the ACC investigated their mutable and immutable properties at home and abroad. In this regard, ACC Chairman Iqbal Mahmud said, whoever the corrupt persons be, they will have to face strict punishment as per the law. ACC will take them to court soon.

‘The syndicate has spoiled the whole system of the Biman, no system is there. Management and corrupt high officials have failed to stop corruption,’ he added. He further said that the ACC is playing a strong role to root out corruption from the state-owned organization, and that due to the pilot appointment corruption, its MD and CEO has already been fired. Investigation against some corrupt high officials is continuing. A syndicate involved in pilot appointment is working underground; they will be unearthed light soon.
‘As the government is showing zero tolerance, none of the corrupt officials will be spared. Whoever they are, proper steps will be taken to make the sector corruption-free. As far as the investigation has gone, no government or political leaders are involved in the corruption,’ an additional secretary of the ministry told Bangladesh Post.

‘There is no way for anyone to request anyone from the top order, if anyone requests, they will also be responsible for such irregularities. The ministry is making a new plan to eliminate corruption from the root-level, sector-wise,’ he further added. In the past four years, this organised group of officials extracted taka 20 to taka 25 lakh each day from the intending passengers through blocking available Biman tickets and cargo handling.

Shafiqul Islam, who was country manager in London, embezzled Tk 16 crore by selling 2,500 free tickets and the ministry also found an amount of Tk 412 crore in corruption in the cargo department. According to Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry information, former country director of London station, Shafiqul Islam, and Director (sales and marketing) Ashraful Alam, recently made officer on special duty (OSD), as well as other officials of the marketing and cargo departments are in the corrupt officials list.

Besides, among other syndicate members under surveillance, are assistant manager of Motijheel sales office Md Enayet Hossain, assistant manager Parvez Alam, Paritosh Talukder, Ziauddin Thakur, and Solaiman Ryed. Apart from them are former official Shamsul Karim and Atiqur Rahman Chisti, who was sacked due to allegations, but later when Biman offered him job again, he refused to join and is presently in London in the cargo business.