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Iqbal Mahmood: Corruption level drops amid increased public confidence over ACC

  • Published at 12:08 am December 9th, 2019
Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Iqbal Mahmood
FIle photo of Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Iqbal Mahmood

The ACC chief said that it has put in place an effective institutional mechanism to expose government employees who are involved in corruption

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Iqbal Mahmood claimed that the level of corruption has dropped in the country, and people now have more trust and confidence on the national anti-graft agency.

The ACC has been instrumental in bringing about positive beliefs among people that there will be governmental action after complaints are lodged by the public, he said this while addressing a press conference arranged by the Reporters Against Corruption (RAC) at the ACC headquarters on Sunday.

The ACC chief said that it has put in place an effective institutional mechanism to expose government employees who are involved in corruption.

"Incidents of bribery and kickback could not have been eliminated yet, but the extent of bribery has marked a significant drop following the introduction of trap cases," he said.

In formal public hearings, he said, increased number of people and government employees now participate. "We were able to resolve many problems at open public hearings," he said.

The rate of the sentencing and incarceration has increased in recent times. We are trying to upgrade and improve the current prosecution procedure to move faster the staggering number of pending cases.  

"We are also receiving complaints through social networking and  messaging services; Facebook, emails, letters, and TV sound bites. ACC's capacity and the number of investigations have also increased, he added. 

The ACC chief cited shortage of manpower as a big limitation among other things to the anti-graft body, however, he expressed hope that the crisis will be solved soon as fresh recruitment has already got under way.  

He added: "The ACC is committed to keep the privacy of the informants. We have instructed the officers at the upazila and district level to ensure protection to the informers. Money laundering is a big challenge. We have taken a tougher stance against money laundering. We have submitted charge sheets in more than 34 cases. And the success rate is 100%." 

Acton against onion importer  

The ACC chief said that if anyone sells onions at higher prices, then action will be taken against the accused person.

Iqbal Mahmood said: "If someone sells onions ayet an exorbitant price, it does not fall under the prerogative of ACC. The customs detective and intelligence unit is tasked with the responsibility to tackle the unfair trade practice.  But if reports are made in due process, ACC will take action according to its mandate."

He further said: "Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate (CIID) has already questioned the importers to uncover the mystery of the volatile onion market. We are observing the situation."

Regarding the money-laundering case, Iqbal Mahmud said: "We do not want anyone to be harassed without evidence. So, we launch investigations rather carefully. Money-laundering investigations are complex, therefore, reports cannot be made public on a regular basis. Without a concerted effort by all, corruption cannot be eliminated."