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Submit report over WASA MD’s 14 houses in USA

HC asks ACC

Published : 09 Jan 2023 09:48 PM

The High Court (HC) has wanted to know the progress of the investigation into allegations of 14 houses in the USA owned by Managing Director of Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA) Taqsem A Khan.

The higher court said that the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) may submit a progress report of its ongoing investigation against the WASA boss.

The HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Khizir Hayat issued the order verbally on Monday (January 9) after a national Bengali daily published a news item regarding the purchase of 14 houses by the WASA MD in the USA.

The ACC may submit the progress report within 15 days, said the HC bench when ACC lawyer Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan drew attention of the court to the newspaper report titled ‘Taqsem’s 14 houses in the USA’ published on January 9.

However, the HC bench did not pass any order based on the newspaper report.

Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan told media that he has already informed the ACC of the HC order.

According to the newspaper report, the WASA MD bought 14 houses in different states in the USA. Several intelligence agencies, including the US intelligence watchdog Interpol, have started investigating the source of his money to buy the houses and information about the transaction process.

According to the complaint submitted to the ACC recently, Taqsem A Khan laundered thousands of crores of money from WASA’s mega projects with foreign loans to the USA through various means, including Hundi. He bought 14 luxury houses in posh areas of that country, including Los Angeles and New York.

 Taqsem A Khan, also a USA citizen, joined Dhaka WASA as MD in 2009 while staying in the USA. All members of his family stay in that country. He also spends with his family members in the USA for about three months every year.

 On December 5 in 2021, HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Khizir Hayat asked the ACC for an update on the ongoing investigation against Taqsem A Khan following a writ petition challenging the legality of his appointment as WASA MD.

 Taqsem A Khan was appointed as WASA MD on a three-year contract in 2009. His contract was extended three times despite his ‘poor performance’ and ‘lot of allegations’.

 On October 11, the Appellate Division Chamber Judge sought a report on how much money Taqsem A Khan received as salary, bonus and other facilities in the last 13 years.

He was drawing extra salary and allowances going beyond the rules. According to the latest board decision, the monthly salary of WASA MD is Tk 6.25 lakh.

A case was filed against nine people, including Taqsem A Khan, alleging that Tk 132.4 crore of Dhaka WASA Employees Multipurpose Cooperative Society was withdrawn and embezzled from six banks through various checks with the help and instructions of WASA MD.

The Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) of Bangladesh Bank had also sent a letter to all banks seeking information of accounts of the WASA MD on August 25 in 2021.

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