The Election Commission is working with the Detective Branch (DB) of Police to root out the forgeries in a coordinated manner, says Brigadier General Saidul Islam
The Election Commission is planning to introduce a One Time Password (OTP) for its staff to prevent any possible forgeries by using the server of the National Identification wing.
Currently, people need a password for accessing the national identity card (NID) server to update any information.
However, the involvement of many data entry operators in NID card forgeries has been a matter of concern for the NID wing, prompting it to look for a prompt solution toward preventing such forgeries.
On Sunday, the Detective Branch (DB) of police arrested five members of a gang in Dhaka who made fake NIDs for loan defaulters to come by bank loans. Two data entry operators under the NID wing were in this gang.
The gang used to help loan defaulters to apply for loans through using fake NIDs. The gang usually took Tk80,000-Tk1 lakh from each of the defaulters for making fake NID cards for them.
Besides, they also asked their clients to pay 10% of the total loan after banks had sanctioned the loan amount. If the clients agreed, they made the fake NID cards.
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“We are developing a system where the face of the person entering the server will immediately be captured upon entrance. Also, we are introducing an OTP based system from the existing password based access system for any person to get access to the server,” the Director General of the National Identity Registration Wing of the Election Commission, Brigadier General Saidul Islam, told Dhaka Tribune.
He expected the new system to be introduced within a week, saying it would help prevent forgeries.
Currently, 1,130 data entry operators are working at the NID wing to update any information on the NID server.
“These operators have a PIN to access the server which some of them have misused to commit the forgeries,” he said.
The NID wing DG said the wing was trying to find out the nexus of people involved in the scam, including the staff of the commission, if any.
He said an all-out drive had been launched at all election offices in Dhaka from Tuesday to find out if any of the officials or staff were negligent in their duties, which resulted in the malpractice being committed.
“We will conduct spot investigation for all – data entry operators, assistant registration officers, and thana election officers to check if they are doing their job properly, how the staff are using the local servers every day and how many NIDs are being printed from their local servers,” he said.
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He said the Election Commission was also working with the Detective Branch (DB) of Police to root out the forgeries in a coordinated manner.
He added that teams would be formed in districts and upazilas for conducting sudden drives.
Asked about why investigation progress of scams involving provision of NID cards to the Rohingyas were so slow, he said it was because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have geared up the investigation again,” he added.
Last year, many officials of the Election Commission were found involved in providing NID cards to Rohingya nationals. Fifteen people, including 11 EC staff, were arrested in connection with the scam.
“We sent a team to Chittagong on Friday and another team on Monday to dig out the roots of the fraudsters and their activities. A technical team will go to Chittagong on Thursday to dig deep into the investigation of the forgery,” he said.