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Corrupt officials with no accountability

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30th-Jul-2019       
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IRREGULARITIES and security lapse have put many prisons at risk, while corrupt jail officers and employees make hefty money as bribes from the family members visiting the inmates every day. Following the arrest of Sohel Rana Biswas, jailor of Chattogram Central Jail, with millions of Taka in cash and bank cheques proving that he had deposited a huge amount of Taka; this time DIG (Prisons) of Sylhet Partha Gopal Banik was arrested on Sunday by Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) with Tk 80 lakh from Dhaka. The family and relatives of any prisoner know the illegal money transaction inside the jail, though the Ministry concerned apparently remains reluctant to the issue.
News media said that the ACC arrested DIG Partha from his residence in Dhaka's Green Road area. The arrest came after a drive conducted at his residence which resulted in the seizure of Tk 80 lakh, the source of which could not be determined. His wife threw the sack of money with Tk 50 lakh on the roof of adjacent house through a window. Later the ACC men collected it. The DIG was allegedly involved in corruption and other irregularities while serving at Chattogram Range previously. The critical pattern of owning assets is also mysterious. Like, the Green Road flat is registered to his mother-in-law, but she never lived there. His car is registered to a friend but is used by his family.
Prices of goods in the Prisoners' Cash canteens are at least 30-35 per cent higher than the maximum retail price, which is a punishable crime. Although these PC stores are run completely on a commercial basis, prison authorities do not pay any VAT. For years, PC canteens have become a profit-making venture for the prison officials. Insiders said many jailors become millionaires within the span of one year after their appointment. Moreover, a large number of prison officials have personal properties and businesses in Malaysia, Canada, Australia and countries in the European Union.
DIG Partha's alleged corruption once again proved that how a section of government officials are misusing their authority for their personal gain. How the government officials could be involved in financial crimes even after increasing their salaries and other benefits?


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