• July 14, 2024, 1:12 am
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Barrister Suman seeks ACC probe into Benazir’s hidden empire

News Desk
News Desk
Update: Sunday, April 21, 2024


Supreme Court lawyer Syed Sayedul Haque Suman has approached the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) seeking an investigation into allegations against former inspector general of police (IGP) Benazir Ahmed of amassing huge illegal wealth by abusing power.
Barrister Suman, also a lawmaker from the Habiganj-4 constituency, submitted a petition to the ACC chairman on Sunday attaching media reports on the matter.
The national anti-graft watchdog has also been urged to run an investigation against Benazir’s wife Zeeshan Mirza and two daughters — Farheen Rishta Binte Benazir and Tahseen Raisa Binte Benazir.
Talking to the media, Barrister Suman said the media reports exposed a portion of the hidden wealth of the former top police officer. “Having seen no inquiry into the matter, I’ve approached the ACC as a citizen and said that those (allegations) need to be investigated,” he said.
The honest officers of Bangladesh Police will be very frustrated and this will have a great impact on those who are honest in the country if the former IGP has so much wealth, he said. “And those who are dishonest will simply engage in a competition. They’ll say ‘we all want to be Benazir’ if the allegations are true. I think it’s a terrible thing for the country.”
The lawmaker also hinted that he will move the High Court if the ACC does not pay any heed to his petition.
ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan acknowledged the submission of the petition, saying, “The ACC will scrutinise the petition as per its rules and regulations. If the commission feels that it falls within its purview, the ACC will take action as per the law.”
He also said a person does not matter here. “The commission will see whether the matter is under its jurisdiction.”
The petition will go to the scrutiny committee, which will decide after looking into it, Khorshed said. “The commission will run an investigation into the allegations as per the decision of the committee if it thinks so.”
In his petition, Barrister Suman mentioned that Benazir’s assets in the names of his family members do not match his legitimate income.
“As a result, there’re enough reasons to believe that Benazir Ahmed has amassed these assets by abusing his position and power during his tenure. As a result, I request you to take necessary legal action to investigate the assets of Benazir Ahmed and his wife and children,” reads the application.
Two reports published on illegal assets of Benazir sparked a widespread discussion throughout the country.
The former IGP built Savanna Eco-Resort and five other companies in Bairagitol village of Gopalganj with an investment of over Tk500 crore, according to a media investigation.
Benazir’s wife Zeeshan Mirza is the designated chairperson while elder daughter Farheen Rishta is the managing director and younger daughter Tahseen Raisa is a director of Savanna Eco-Resort.
The huge property seems irrational in proportion to his official earnings of Tk1.85 crore during the service spanning 34 years and seven months before retiring as the 30th IGP, sources claimed.
Investigation revealed that Benazir has huge wealth in posh areas of the capital. He owns 2 lakh shares at Le Meridien Dhaka hotel in the names of his two daughters.
In Purbachal, he built a duplex villa spread over 40 kathas of land with an estimated value of at least Tk45 crore and owns another 10 bighas of land worth Tk22 crore.
The former police boss has been implicated in an incident involving the acquisition of forest department land to obtain 25% equity shares in a luxury resort in Gazipur owned by a prominent industrial conglomerate.
Benazir invested undisclosed earnings in ventures, including Padma Bank, the Canadian University of Bangladesh, Best Western Premier and Hotel Ramada in Cox’s Bazar, Concorde Hotel and Suites in Dubai, and gold business in Singapore.

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