ACC soon to submit charges in Hallmark, Destiny cases

Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Ghulam Rahman, on Wednesday said that the commission would submit chargesheets in the Hallmark Group loan scandal and Destiny Group money laundering cases within a few days. Speaking at the ACC Media Awards 2013, he said the commission would file over 100 cases in connection with Tk. 3,500-crore loan scandal of the Hallmark Group, its associates and bank officials concerned. The ACC had already filed dozens of cases in this connection, he added.
Describing the Hallmark Group-Sonali Bank loan scandal and the Destiny Group’s money laundering cases as the worst corruption cases in the country, the ACC chief added that the main accused in the cases were now behind bars.
He, however, regretted that there were more cases of corruption taking place beyond the scheduled task of the commission.
Ghulam Rahman, who was presiding over the function, expressed hope that the commission would be able to bring the accused to book by carrying out impartial and fair investigation into the allegations.
A three-member jury, led by Mahbubul Alam, editor of The Independent, selected five journalists—three from print and online, and two from electronic media—for the ACC Media Awards 2013. Given for the first time, the awards marked the anti-corruption week that began on March 26.
The recipients of the awards were Manjur Ahmed of Prothom Alo, Mizan Malik of Dainik Jugantor, Adittaya Rahman of, Bayezid Ahmed of RTV and Naznin Akhter Munni of Channel 71. The winners were given a cheque, a crest and a citation.
Golam Sarwar, editor, Dainik Samakal, and Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul, chief editor and chief news editor, Baisakhi Television, were the two other jury members.
The ACC chief said that recent incidents of corruption have revealed that private sector executives are more involved in corruption, and that a section of unscrupulous government officials are aiding and abetting them. “Recent incidents of high-level corruption, such as the Hallmark Group-Sonali Bank loan scandal and Destiny Group scams, reveal that public sector people are not the main agents of corruption; people in the private sector play the key role”, he observed.
The ACC chief, however, added that corruption has been taking place in connivance with a section of unscrupulous government executives.
Lauding the proactive role of the media and members of the civil society, he said that it would not have been possible for the commission to unravel the major corruptions without their unstinting support. He expressed hope that the media and civil society people would continue to extend their support to the ACC.
The anti-graft chief said the investigation reports released by both print and electronic media contributed greatly to identifying the persons involved in corruption.
Announcing the names of the winners, jury board chairman Mahbubul Alam said that the ACC Media Awards would play a key role in inspiring investigative and creative journalism in the country. He emphasised the need for encouraging investigative journalism to bring about changes in the society. Citing the Watergate Scandal in the US, he added that two Washington Post journalists were instrumental in the downfall of president Nixon.
Mahbubul Alam, who was also an adviser of the former caretaker government, appreciated the role of journalists in exposing corruption cases. “It will be possible to curb corruption, if journalists and the ACC work together”, he observed.
Golam Sarwar said that reporting on corruption was a risky job and lauded the investigative reporters for their zeal and fearlessness.
He also alleged that all government executives were involved in corrupt deals.
Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul said the awards would help develop the quality of journalism. He also stressed the need of taking measures to help journalists do their work with the ACC.
ACC commissioner Md Shahabuddin said the investigative reports on corruption had helped the commission to unearth many unknown matters. Referring to their limitations to provide information during investigation, he said sometimes disseminating information reduced the merit of a case and the accused could know the development.
ACC secretary Foyzur Rahman Chowdhury gave his vote of thanks while director general (prevent and research) Dr Md Shamsul Arefin delivered the welcome address.

Source: The Independent