Chairman of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Iqbal Mahmood on Wednesday said the anti-graft watchdog will get tougher with the graft suspects this year in order to effectively tackle corruption all over the country.
He said corrupt officials would be trapped and brought to book. He warned them not to take bribes. “Stop taking bribes or face dire consequence,” he said.
The ACC chairman came up with the remarks at a press conference at its headquarters at Segun Bagicha in the capital.
The ACC chief said the prosecution unit of the ACC will be strengthened by hiring skilled lawyers while an intelligence unit will also be formed.
Telephone hotline 106 will be introduced this year and people can ring this number free of cost to submit their complaints, he said.
The ACC chairman said 13 graft suspects were caught red-handed when taking bribes through setting traps in 2016 and the number will rise this year.
Iqbal Mahmood said the Commission arrested 388 graft suspects in 2016, as they tried to avoid interrogation and court appearance.
He said the ACC filed 339 cases and submitted 528 charge-sheets before courts last year. The graft accused were convicted in 54 percent cases in 2016 while the success rate of the ACC’s cases were only 37 percent in 2015. “But we want to see cent percent conviction in the graft cases filed by the Commission,” he added.
The ACC chairman said there is no alternative but to ensure good governance to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs). That’s the reason why the ACC is working sincerely to ensure good governance through combating corruption.
He said the defalcated amount of Tk 359 crore of the Basic Bank was returned.
A loan of Tk 342 of Basic Bank was rescheduled after cases were filed and now the ACC has been investigating 56 cases of Basic Bank, he said.
“The cases will be investigated properly. That’s the reason why it will take time, but it doesn’t mean that somebody will be able to go away scot-free,” he said.
He said out of a total of 156 accused of Basic Bank scam cases, 26 are the officers of the bank and other 130 accused are from 54 organisations. Former MD of the bank Qazi Fakhrul Islam is accused in 48 cases, DMD Fazlus Sobhan is accused in 47 cases, Kanak Kumar Purakayastha is accused in 23 cases and DMD Monayem Khan is accused in 35 cases.
Regarding ‘admission business’ in different schools and colleges in Dhaka city, the ACC chairman said the ACC is monitoring everything in this regard.
Among others, ACC Commissioner Dr Md Nasiruddin Ahmed and its secretary Abu M Mustafa Kamal were present on the occasion.