'The perpetrators will be brought under the law in the interest of the people'
Perpetrators of corruption in the health sector will face justice once they are identified, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has said.
ACC Chairman Iqbal Mahmood made the statement following a virtual meeting of the commission on Friday. The meeting was convened to report on the implementation of the ACC's one-year strategic action plan 2019.
Most regular activities of the ACC have been suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but operations against corrupt individuals in the relief and health sectors will be intensified, the ACC chairman said.
“The perpetrators will be brought under the law in the interest of the people,” he added.
Praising the efforts of the ACC, Iqbal Mahmood said two promising officers have been lost to Covid-19, but current officials are still investigating corruption, filing cases, arresting criminals, and prosecuting them.
He also urged the commission’s investigators to ensure that they maintain health guidelines while pursuing justice.
Expressing satisfaction over progress in the activities of the money laundering division of the commission, the ACC chairman said perpetrators have been convicted in 11 out of 11 money laundering cases filed by the commission in 2019.
He added that effective coordination between the ACC, Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU), Criminal Investigation Department (CID), National Board of Revenue(NBR) and other agencies is needed to stop money laundering.
“Not only do you have to file cases against money launderers, but you also have to recover criminal assets,” Iqbal Mahmood said.
ACC Commissioner Mozammel Haque Khan said focal point officials may play the most important role in implementing the National Integrity Strategy, but they did not inform the commission about any corruption in their respective ministries or departments.
“They need accountability and to appoint honest, transparent and determined officers,” he added.
ACC Commissioner AFM Aminul Islam said that the ACC's surveillance of service providers, including hospitals, should be increased.
ACC Secretary Muhammad Delwar Bakht and Director-General ANM Al Firoz also spoke at the meeting.
Earlier on Thursday, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader issued a stern warning against graft in the health sector. He was addressing recent reports of widespread corruption at Regent Hospital.
“The government’s ongoing crackdown on corruption and irregularities is now focused on the health sector,” Quader said.