Thursday, June 21, 2018 | ePaper

Concerted efforts needed to root out corruption

  • Print
THE Anti-Corruption Commission filed a case with Kishoreganj Model Police Station on January 17 accusing Setaful Islam, former land acquisition officer at the District's Deputy Commissioner's Office, of misappropriating Tk 5 crore. Later, the ACC recovered Tk 92 lakh of that amount raiding the house of one of the Setaful's accomplices, said the corruption watchdog, as per recent report of a local daily.

The ACC gave the money to the DC of Kishoreganj following permission from a district court. DC Sarwar Morshed Chowdhury said his office carried out an internal probe against Setaful and found that he had embezzled Tk 8.7 crore from the land acquisition fund. Receiving the transfer order, Setaful drove straight to a branch of Sonali Bank in Kishoreganj with sacks and withdrew a huge amount of cash, witnesses told investigators.

Once the matter was informed to the authorities and his colleagues, Setaful fled the scene with the money. The amount withdrawn at the time was Tk 5 crore, according to the ACC. Sources at the DC Office said Setaful, with the help of some of his seniors, misappropriated over Tk 10 crore from the fund.

In his confessional statement before a judicial magistrate, Setaful said a former DC of the district and Additional Commissioner (Revenue) were involved in the crime, reports our Mymensingh correspondent, quoting ACC sources. When any land is acquired for implementing government's development projects, the Land Ministry recommends compensating the land owners. The compensation money is sent to the District Administration before it reaches the land owner.

The embezzlement of public funds is nothing new. In the last year alone a UP Chairman was arrested on charges of embezzling rice, an on duty officer of a government warehouse gobbled up 42,000 kgs of rice, audit officials gobbled up 2.7 crore, a jute mill GM ate up Tk 7 crore in public monies, a Jubo League leader and his wife stole 31 lakhs from a bank, and a public university employee gobbled up 31 lakhs from revenue.

These are just the tip of the iceberg. Fortunately in all of the above cases the culprits had to face the arm of the law--they could not get away with it. Embezzlement of public funds is just one aspect of corruption. Taking bribes, which is far more intangible, is taking on epidemic proportions.

Unlike simple embezzlement it can't be monitored or traced unless the people directly concerned speak out against it. But this seems unlikely as the people who are most likely to give bribes do so for urgent business or official work. It is impossible to root this out without concerted efforts from all concerned.

More News For this Category

Stern action needed to stop using topsoil of fertile lands for brickkilns

CRIME syndicates of land-grabbers coupled with a group of local influential people including some ruling party men have been forcefully stripping away topsoil from vast areas of arable land along

Unfortunately government has no political leadership to restore peace in Chattogram Hill Tracts

THREE more activists of Parbatya Chattogram Janasanghati Samity (MN Larma) and United People's Democratic Front (Democratic) were shot dead at their homes in Rangamati and Khagrachhari districts between Friday and

Anit-adulteration drive must be enforced

Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed :Business means to maintain livelihood. Again it means to earn money and to increase productivity and changing the life pattern from lower to upper lifestyle with

US withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council: What you need to know

Al Jazeera News :The US withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has been roundly condemned by rights groups and was described as "disappointing, if not really surprising" by

Take fish welfare more seriously

Philip Lymbery and Reineke Hameleers :It wouldn't surprise anyone if consumer awareness surrounding fish and their welfare was low, as indeed, fish welfare labelling is almost non-existent.Over the past 15

Readers’ Forum

Teachers in newly nationalised private collegesThe government selected 285 private colleges across the country to nationalise in April, that employ nearly 18,000 teachers. The prime minister had also declared that

Stop wastage of public money, make city roads usable

CAPITAL’s potholed and dilapidated roads, lanes and by-lanes are causing acute sufferings to commuters as they find movement from one place to another quite uncomfortable. With the condition of the

Death of another prosecution witness : Too difficult to accept as an accident

NO sooner had the Eid vacation come to an end but another murder shocked us all. The decapitated body of Sumon Zahid, a witness in a war crimes case and

Reduction of corporate tax for financial institutions

Dr. M Abul Kashem Mozumder and Dr. Md. Shairul Mashreque :Admittedly corporate sector is an important part of economy. Private enterprises or companies are quixotically clinging to profits that concern

World Refugee Day

Marcia Bernicat :Today is World Refugee Day, which provides an opportunity to reflect on the suffering of displaced people and what we can do to provide them safety as well