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Dhaka Tribune

ACC addressed 4% of complaints received via hotline last year

  • 1,113 complaints recorded for action
  • Complaints include bribery, illegal activities 
  • Toll-free hotline ‘106’ was launched in 2017
Update : 16 Jan 2024, 10:23 AM

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) took action in 4% of the complaints as it received a huge response from individuals as well as institutions through its hotline (106) last year.

ACC officials say its Enforcement Unit can do better to uproot corruption if people give accurate and specific information.

Based on the complaints, the Enforcement Unit carries out immediate raids, sets up traps to nab corrupt people, files cases, and issues letters to the authorities concerned seeking action. The unit has also conducted awareness campaigns.

In some cases, the anti-graft body requested that the authorities investigate complaints and prepare reports. However, in most cases, the ACC did not get any response, officials said.

The toll-free hotline number was launched in 2017. People from home and abroad can call the number from 9am to 5pm on working days.

Apart from the hotline, the ACC takes into account complaints received by the ACC’s Intelligence Unit, media reports, and complaints or information received directly.

The Enforcement Unit was formed on January 23, 2019 with a total of 26 officials, including one deputy director, two assistant directors, and four deputy assistant directors. Currently, 13 officers are working in the unit under a deputy director.

Photo: Collected

Complaints and actions

According to the ACC data, a total of 26,574 calls were made to its hotline number last year regarding corruption by various individuals and institutions.

Of the complaints, some 1,986 were received from various sources: 657 from print and electronic media, 128 via emails and social media, and 91 from daily and recent cells.

After verification, 1,113 complaints were recorded for action by the ACC Enforcement Unit.

As per rules, the officials concerned must submit a report to the deputy director (enforcement) within 48 hours of conducting a raid. On the basis of the recommendations of the report, the Enforcement Unit writes to the department concerned, asking it to file a case after securing the commission's approval.

According to sources, the Enforcement Unit began working on 546 complaints received from different sources between January and December 31, 2023.

In the follow-up, 183 letters were sent to various departments to take action on these complaints. The ACC closed 295 complaints as they lacked substance or were out of the purview of the body. On the other hand, the commission authorized an inquiry into 68 complaints, which are currently on the preliminary inquiry list.

During sting operations, the commission recovered Tk10.5 lakh taken as bribes last year.

In 2022, transfers and departmental action were taken against 10 people following drives by the Enforcement Unit. Another 13 people were sentenced to prison, and seven were sacked.

Show cause notices were issued to three persons, while a fine of Tk5.14 lakh was collected on various charges, including illegal use of electricity connections, running illegal brick kilns, extraction of sand, and encroachment of government land.

The Enforcement Unit also recovered Tk1.12 lakh from individuals who had embezzled government money. It also recovered Tk96,000 taken as bribes by different individuals. Another Tk5.2 lakh was recovered from officials who had committed irregularities during the payment of profit for savings certificates.

It also brought to light corruption in the “Kajer Binimoye Taka” project, involving Tk5.74 lakh.

Talking to this reporter, ACC Secretary Mahbub Hossain said: "You may call it enforcement or trap cases. Appropriate measures are taken by the authorities concerned to stop controversial appointments, low-quality construction, and illegal gas lines, as well as the eviction of illegal structures on rivers, canals, and roads to protect the environment.”

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