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Barrister Sumon submits plea to ACC seeking probe into Benazir’s wealth

A prayer has been submitted to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) seeking necessary legal steps after investigating the wealth accumulated illegally by former inspector general of police (IGP) Benazir Ahmed and his family members.

Ruling Awami League MP Barrister Sayedul Huque Sumon from Habiganj-4 (Madhabpur-Chunarughat) constituency, submitted the prayer to the ACC chairman at the anti-graft body’s head office at Segun Bagicha in the capital on Sunday (April 21).

In his prayer, Barrister Sumon said Benazir Ahmed was the former IGP of Bangladesh Police. He joined the Bangladesh Police as the 30th IGP and went on retirement after serving 34 years and 7 months. He went on retirement on September 30, 2022. After his retirement, it was found that Benazir Ahmed had accumulated huge wealth in the names of his wife and daughters which was very inequal to his known sources of income. A local Bengali daily published a news on March 31 last. The report stated that former IGP has accumulated huge wealth in the names of his wife Zishan Mirza, elder daughter Rishta Binte Benazir and younger daughter Tahsin Raisa Binte Benazir.
These wealth includes six companies, luxury flats and houses at posh areas in the capital, shares in Best Holdings, shares in 5-star Hotel La Meridien, Dhaka; Savannah Eco Resort in Gopalganj, 418 decimals of land at St Martin’s Island etc.

“The value of these properties are more beyond the legal sources of income of Benazir, his wife and daughters. There are adequate reasons to believe that Benazir Ahmed has accumulated huge wealth which does not match his legal income sources misusing his position. Taking the above-mentioned information into account, I request you (ACC Chief) to take necessary legal stepsinvestigating the sources of huge wealth of Benazir Ahmed, his wife and two daughters,” Barrister Sumon stated in his prayer.

Referring to the statement of former IGP Benazir Ahmed on his Facebook made on Saturday last, Barrister Sumon said he (Benazir) admitted something there and concealed something there. Now, an IGP can earn salary worth some Tk 1.45 crore in his 34 years of service. But it has been found that he owns properties worth hundreds of crores of taka. There were no income sources of Benazir Ahmed’s wife and daughters. In spite of it, they have made accumulated huge wealth worth crores of taka. He bought 1,400 bighas of land in Gopalganj. “Had been he received some more days, it seems that he would have bought the entire Gopalganj district,” he said.

After submitting his prayer to the ACC, Barrister Sumon told journalists that he came to the ACC expecting that it would take an initiative at its own. “Is not there anyone in Bangabandhu’s Bangladesh to speak against such a rampant corruption? If the ACC doesn’t do anything else, as citizens it is our responsibilities to request the ACC to take initiative. We don’t say that Benazir Ahmed had indulged in corruption. But, the allegations raised against him should be made clear to the people of Bangladesh and the nation. Wherever he went, he had accumulated wealth. If the ACC doesn’t take this allegation into cognizance, I will go to the High Court. Our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s mission is to build resistance against corruption. As an MP, I have come at the ACC first time. If others don’t talk about corruption, I myself will do this.”

He further said: “A criminal doesn’t confess his crime. Let the ACC say that Benazir has no illegal wealth. He didn’t commit any corruption. All his wealth is like transparent water. The ACC doesm’t take start itself. It needs to be pushed behind to start it. If we and journalists can push it from behind, it will be able to move forward.”