Alongside the probe into the wealth of lawmakers and ministers, the Anti-Corruption Commission will investigate the wealth of newly elected female MPs to reserved seats.
“We are yet to receive any complaint about female candidates’ wealth. We are looking into media reports and after analysing them, we might bring them under scanner,” said ACC Secretary Faizur Rahman Chowdhury yesterday.
“The commission will take action against those candidates who will be found guilty,” he said while addressing a monthly briefing at the commission’s headquarters at Segunbagicha in the city.
Responding to a question on the wealth of lawmakers and ministers, the secretary said it is an ongoing process.
“We are collecting information from media reports and our internal sources. We will bring the lawmakers under scanner if found guilty,” he added.
However, he denied giving information on how many people would be brought under scanner in the future.
He said the commission has asked the lawmakers to submit their wealth statements. “One of them has already submitted the statement. If anyone fails to submit the wealth statement as per due procedure, we will take action against him or her,” he said.
The ACC is now conducting inquiry against former health minister AFM Ruhal Haq, former state minister for housing and public works Abdul Mannan Khan, former state minister for water resources Mahbubur Rahman, and lawmakers Abdur Rahman Badi of Cox’s Bazar-4, Aslamul Haque of Dhaka-14, Enamul Haque of Rajshahi-4 and former Satkhira- 2 lawmaker Abdul Jabbar.
The secretary said that the ACC might form a special cell or committee to deal with it if necessary.
“The special investigation department is now dealing with the complaints in regard to lawmakers’ wealth. If we see necessity for setting up a separate cell or committee, we will do that.”
He, however, said the commission will observe corruption prevention week, beginning on March 26.
In reply to another query, Chowdhury said the inquiry into the Tk70 lakh alleged graft by former railway minister Suranjit Sengupta would be easier if the ACC could have found his driver Ali Azam.
“Azam is a key witness and the case would be easier if we could find him. We are seeking support from media to hunt him down,” he added.
The secretary also said the anti-graft body has almost completed the report on the wealth of Sohel Rana, owner of Rana Plaza at Savar that collapsed on April 24 last year, killing over 1,100 people.
“Rana is now in custody. So, we have taken more time to complete the investigation, but we are expecting to complete the probe report soon.”
Focusing on the regular activities of the anti-graft body, he said that the ACC in February approved filing of 21 cases against 41 people on charges of corruption.
Of the total, 28 were government service-holders and the rest were from other professions.
Judgments on 10 cases investigated by the ACC were pronounced, he said, adding that two persons were convicted and eight others acquitted of charges.