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ACC initiates probe against 11 BD foreign missions

Ex-FS Mijarul Quayes to be brought under scanner: Allegations of financial corruption, abuse of power against some officials

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Sagar Biswas :The Anti Corruption Commission [ACC] has planned to investigate financial corruption and other anomalies allegedly committed by some officials working at 11 Bangladesh missions abroad.In line with the strategy, the ACC has summoned relevant documents of the embassies and high commissions where several officials, including head of missions, are reportedly involved in massive corruption and abuse of power in the foreign countries, officials said on Monday.The foreign missions are - United States of America, France, China, Italy, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Canada, Philippines and Malaysia.Confirming the matter, a highly placed source in ACC told The New Nation that Deputy Director, also Investigation Officer of ACC, Mahbubul Alam has recently sent letters to the concerned authorities, including Director General of the Mission Audit Directorate, in this regard.In the letter, the ACC has asked the DG of the Mission Audit Directorate to provide necessary information along with relevant documents as per requisition [of ACC] within May 30.As per information available, the ACC in the letter has sought all official records, related papers of financial transactions, including audit reports, of the eleven missions since 2009-2010 to 2014-2015 fiscal years.  "ACC has decided to investigate the anomalies in foreign missions following some specific allegations. It has taken all the allegations, received from different quarters, into cognizance. And in line with the strategy, the ACC has sent letters to concerned departments," Public Relations Officer of ACC Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya said on Monday.It is learnt that, the ACC has taken decision to initiate the investigation following series of allegations against some officials and employees of the eleven embassies and high commissions. In most cases, the sufferer Bangladeshis, residing in these countries, have lodged the complaints with the concerned sections of ACC and Foreign Ministry. In the complaints, several expatriates and other related persons have alleged that like the general officials and employees, some senior officials, including ambassador, high commissioner and consulate general, have pocketed huge amount of money by abusing official power.       The ACC, at the same time, also will investigate the alleged corruption of some foreign ministry officials, including a former Foreign Secretary, sources said.Especially, former Foreign Secretary Mohamed Mijarul Quayes, now ambassador in Brazil, is now under scanner of ACC for his large-scale financial corruption and abuse of official power. It is alleged that Mijarul Quayes had misappropriated Taka one crore of the government in two terms when he was Foreign Secretary.  And without refunding the money, he had joined London mission as High Commissioner. According to official statement, Mijarul Quayes took Tk 50 lakh from the government when he was posted Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Russian Federation from his previous posting as High Commissioner to the Maldives. He again took Tk 50 lakh more on advance from state exchequer when he was promoted to Foreign Secretary in 2009. The Auditor General Office had raised objection about his abnormal dealings while preparing report in 2011. But the Foreign Service official did not face any obstacle to get an appointment as ambassador in Brazil despite huge anomalies and power abuse.    Earlier in 2008, the ACC conducted an extensive investigation about corruption of officials in Abu Dhabi embassy when around 60,000 complaints from sufferer people were submitted with the ACC.

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