Allegations of getting promotion by concealing information and amassing huge wealth beyond known income sources have intensified against SM Nazmul Haque, Acting Chief Engineer of Shipping Department. The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), meanwhile, has assigned new Investigation Officer (IO) for the third time to probe the allegations brought against him. The new IO Benzir Ahmed issued a letter to Nazmul Haque asking about the statements of all immovable and movable wealth owned by himself, his wife and other dependents.
The Shipping Ministry temporarily suspended Shipping Department's Chief Engineer AKM Fakhrul Islam as he was arrested red handed by ACC on July 18 last while taking Tk 5 lakh as bribe for giving approval of the design of a ship.
On August 20, the ministry appointed Dr SM Nazmul Haque as the Acting Chief Engineer of the Shipping Department.
According to the government provision, none can get promotion on high rank, if he or she is accused of serious allegations. But, Nazmul concealed the information about the existing investigations conducted by ACC and Shipping Ministry by the direction of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
In 2016, Prime Minister Office directed the Shipping Minister to take necessary actions after investigation of reported allegations against Nazmul Haque. Following the directive, the concerned ministry formed a probe body headed by its Additional Secretary (Administration) Rafiqul Islam.
ACC started investigation against several corruptions and anomalies of Nazmul in 2014. The Investigation Officer (IO) Mohammad Ibrahim, the then Assistant Director of ACC conducted the investigation for a long time and submitted a report recommending for his discharge from the allegation.
But the higher authorities rejected the recommendation and gave charge to its Deputy Director Hamidul Hasan for fresh investigation. Though, Hamidul submitted another investigation report with the recommendation of Nazmul's discharge from the allegation, ACC high-ups found inconsistency over the market values of his wealth statements and did not take the report in cognizance. It started investigation for third times.
Nazmul earned huge amount of illegal wealth in his name and unnamed. But, he concealed the information during submitting statement to the ACC. In the statement, Nazmul mentioned that he has immovable wealth in Dhaka, Narayanganj and Khulna. Of them, a four-room flat is locating at the city's Siddershwari area, which was bought at Tk 8.50 lakh in the FY 2007-08 and another 5 Katha residential plot of DOM INNO at Khilkhet, which was bought at Tk 9.50 lakh in the FY 2011-12.
He also showed the price of a 5 Katha residential plot in Purbachal Marine City at only Tk 3 lakh, which was purchased in 2012-13 FY. In the same year, he purchased another 5 Katha plot in Rupganj of Narayanganj at Tk 3 lakh.He mentioned the price of 3.75 Katha land in Nirala residential area of Khulna city Tk 2.50 lakh, which was purchased in 2003-04 FY. He claimed that the assets were purchased with the money of his salaries. But, ACC could not accept the statements finding inconsistency over the values.
However, ACC came to know that he purchased two duplex flats in 'Bijoy Rakin City' at Mirpur near Police Staff College and another flat near Kalyanpur Girls School in his wife Sahela Nazmul's name. He is owner of two more flats at Malibagh intersection and Eskaton's Dilu Road.
Alongside, huge amount of money were deposited at Nazmul and his wife's accounts in different banks. But, his wife is not a service holder.
However, she paid Tk 1.70 crore to a Gulshan based business firm's owner on December 24, 2013 to get partnership. But, she filed a case with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's court in the city against the business firm's owner after failing to get the dividends of the business.
According to the case sources, evidences of huge unusual transactions were found in a bank account opened with the name of Sahela Nazmul with Sonali Bank's Vicarunnisa Noon School and College branch.
Nazmul paid Tk 1.50 crore to the same businessman to get partnership in the same day. But, he failed to realize the dividends and filed a case with the same court in 2014.
Nazmul was involved with unusual transactions with Sonali Bank's RAJUK Bhaban branch though he is a government employee. But, he did not mention the matter of being a partner of a business and transaction of huge money through the bank account to the ministry concerned, even NBR during the submission of income tax return in 2012-13.
While contacted, Acting Chief Engineer Dr SM Nazmul Haque said, "The matter is now under investigation of ACC. However, someone is spreading propaganda to tarnish my image. But the allegations are totally false, baseless and ill-motivated."
-Golam Mostafa Jibon, AA
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