Monday, December 17, 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 The amount withdrawn at the time was Tk 5 crore, according to the ACC.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

EC must act to ensure security to opposition men

THE New Nation on Saturday reported that at least 300 opposition men were arrested in a span of only 48 hours on Wednesday and Thursday across the country. The opposition

No room for self-satisfaction, success needed in other fields too

THE nation celebrates the 48th Victory Day today amid festivity. Today, the nation will remember its glorious historical achievement earned through a nine-month war against Pakistan Occupation Forces in 1971.

The unforgettable genocide of 1971

Lorraine Boissoneault:Blood wrote this dispatch two weeks into the bloody massacre that would lead to the birth of Bangladesh. Unlike the Rwandan genocide, or the Holocaust, or the killing that

The article that changed history

Mark Dummett :Abdul Bari had run out of luck. Like thousands of other people in East Bengal, he had made the mistake - the fatal mistake - of running within

Readers’ Forum

Women alone not responsible for divorceDivorce rate in Bangladesh is increasing and some people have put the blame squarely on independent working women for this trend. It is true that

Collection of personal data of cell phone users

THE telecoms regulator has collected sensitive personal data of about seven crore cell phone users without their consent and shared those with another government agency for a ghost survey just

Time to avail the golden opportunity to explore Japan`s rich market

BANGLADESH wants to explore the potentials of sending skilled workers to Japan as the country is likely to open its job market for foreign workers. The matter is likely to

Political commitment key to health for all

Ban Ki-moon :One of my proudest accomplishments as the former UN secretary-general was playing a part in the ambitious global agenda for sustainable development (SDGs), including the goal of universal

Challenges of global rice security

Rayhan Ahmed Topader :Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world with a population of over 160 million and a projected population, based on current growth

Provoke a debate and spark an idea

Sallyann Della Casa :This role can result in your organisation improving its chances of innovating, considering all sides of a problem and solution and making the right choice.Ever heard of