October 25, 2021, 10:45 am
Special Correspondent /
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is following the ‘go slow’ policy to investigate allegations of corruption by Sunamganj-1 MP Moazzem Hossain Ratan. The ruling party’s MP was charged with illegal casino business and abuse of power and acquisition of hundreds of crores of rupees through irregularities and corruption.
According to the ACC sources, the investigation of the complaint was quite fast at the beginning. Suddenly, the previous commission directed to stop the investigation of the allegation. Despite the existence of credible evidence of corruption against MP Ratan, the pace of investigation has slowed down ever since.
Mohammad Neyamul Ahsan Gazi, assistant director of the ACC’s head office in Dhaka, was investigating the allegation.
It is learned that even after the present commission took charge, the investigation of the complaint has not been speeded up, the previous policy is still in force. But he was questioned about the allegations early last year. A letter has also been sent to the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) of the central bank asking for all the bank account documents and information of MP Ratan and his wife Mahmuda Hossain Latar.
A senior ACC official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the media that the commission had earlier in the year ordered an abrupt halt to the probe into allegations of ill-gotten wealth through corruption against MP Ratan and his wife. After this instruction, the concerned sub-division and the investigating officer have no further duty till further instructions. That is why the file of the complaint is currently being taped.
The ACC was investigating allegations of irregularities, corruption, extortion, eviction of government property and looting of people’s property by abusing power against MP Ratan. At that time, a preliminary investigation revealed information about a large amount of movable and immovable property in his name. A special branch of the police has also banned MP Ratan from leaving the country following an application by the ACC in the middle of last year.
He was questioned about the allegations on February 18 last year. Members of a special anti-casino team led by ACC director Syed Iqbal Hossain interrogated him for three hours at the commission’s head office in the capital’s Segunbagicha.
The notice sent to him for questioning said that hundreds of crores of rupees had been embezzled through various irregularities in large-scale contracting work, illegal casino business and illegal activities through bribery in collusion with contractor GK Shamim and others. He is accused of smuggling abroad and acquiring known non-income assets.
According to sources, there are allegations against him for illegal extraction of sand and stones in the constituency and extortion in coal importers’ associations, various markets, markets and businesses. He has left a huge amount of money earned through corruption in his wife’s name.
According to the chargesheet filed against MP Ratan, there are 13 houses in his name in Dhaka, Sunamganj, Dharmapasha, Netrokona and Mohanganj. He has built a luxurious house called ‘Haor Bangla’ at a cost of Tk 10 crore in his village Dharmapasha. He has bought a house named ‘Payal Pew’ for Rs 7 crore against the district police lines in Mallikpur of Sunamganj city.
He has seven more houses in Dharmapasha Upazila Sadar. There are also two houses in Mohanganj Upazila Sadar. There is also a house in Netrokona district town. He bought land in Netrokona for about Tk 50 crore to set up a medical college in the name of his parents. There are several flats in his name in Niketan, Gulshan, Dhaka. He has bought 500 acres of land in the name of his brother Jatan Miah. Besides, he has movable and immovable property in his name.