ACC probing some RMG owners

The Anti-Corruption Commission has begun enquiring into allegations of laundering about Tk 64,000 crore ($755 million) annually by some garment factory owners in the guise of export and import business.

ACC Secretary Md Anwar Hossain Howlader said they have received allegations that some government officials abetted these businesspersons in money laundering.

Talking to journalists at the ACC’s Segunbagicha headquarters, he said a four-member ACC team has been assigned to enquire into the matter.

The team has also been tasked with probing the allegation of garment factory Al-Muslim Group laundering Tk 175 crore, the ACC secretary said.

“The ACC will take measures according to the findings of the enquiry,” said Anwar.

Upon the ACC’s request, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has recently submitted some documents on over-invoicing.

The anti-graft watchdog is also looking into that.

“It will take us some time as the matter is very broad,” he said, adding that he hoped the NBR will continue to send information on over-invoicing on a regular basis to the ACC.

“The commission is very strict in dealing with the prevention of money laundering,” he said.

Asked, he said after the enquiry, they will be able to identify how many garment factories are involved.

The ACC earlier led an enquiry into an allegation against Al-Muslim Group for misappropriating crores of taka of banks.

The commission, however, stopped the enquiry on December 24 last year as it did not find any evidence against the factory.

“The ACC sought the documents from me and I submitted these to the ACC for investigation. After the investigation of my documents, including bank documents, the ACC gave me the clearance,” said Md Abdullah, managing director of Al-Muslim Group.

He, however, did not say anything about the laundering allegations.

Contacted, BGMEA President Rubana Huq said, “Since they have said they will investigate freshly, we will hold off from commenting any further until the investigation is over.”

According to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the volume of annual export of garment products stood at $34 billion — 68 percent of total export.

Replying to another question, the ACC secretary said it is scrutinising allegations against the Election Commission, including the chief election commissioner, of causing a loss of Tk 7.47 crore of the state in the name of training allowance.

“Our committee [which scrutinises allegations before enquiry] is examining it,” he said.

On January 7, 10 Supreme Court lawyers submitted an application to the ACC for taking appropriate legal action over the allegations.

On December 14 last year, 42 distinguished citizens urged the president to constitute Supreme Judicial Council to investigate allegations of corruption and other misconduct against the EC. 

 

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Courtesy: The Daily Star

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