Graft In Shipping Ministry
Jailed chief engineer out to secure bail
Published : Monday, 13 August, 2018 at 12:00 AM Count : 450
The name SM Nazmul Huq grabbed the headlines of different newspapers on April 12, 2018 as a team of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) caught him red-handed taking bribe of Tk5, 00000 in exchange for approving a ship's design. SM Nazmul Haque was suspended temporarily on April 15. The Department of Shipping also formed a prove committee to investigate the matter. An ACC team led by Dhaka Divisional Office Director Nasim Anwar captured Nazmul in a sting operation at a hotel in the Segunbagicha area of the capital.
Nazmul, now in jail, is reportedly trying to secure a bail from court by resorting to his financial clout.
SM Nazmul Huq, Chief Engineer and Surveyor of the Department of Shipping, was promoted to the rank in blatant violation of the government provision. Nazmul climbed up the ladder of promotion through unfair means. According to the government provision, none can be promoted to a high rank if he or she is accused of serious allegations. But, Nazmul concealed the information about the cases filed against him.
He mysteriously managed the post of Chief Engineer. He was appointed as an examiner of the Department of Shipping. He managed to be promoted by concealing information and amassing huge wealth beyond the known income sources.
Nazmul allegedly demanded Tk 15 lakh in bribe after one Imam Hasan of Syed Shipping Lines approached him for the approval of the design, said ACC Assistant Director Abdul Wadud. On being informed by Imam, the corruption watchdog, decided to catch Nazmul red-handed, he said.
Nazmul allegedly issued such 59 ships the design after taking his charge, a source in the Department of Shipping told The Daily Observer on Sunday. In 2016, the PMO directed the Shipping Minister to take necessary actions after investigation of the reported allegations against Nazmul Haque. Meanwhile, the IO of the case has mysteriously been changed three times. The ACC high-ups found inconsistency over the market values of his wealth statements and did not take the report in cognizance.
Nazmul earned huge amount of illegal wealth in his name and the names of others. 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 located 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 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. 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. He also deposited a huge amount of money in his and his wife's accounts in diffeent 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 in 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.
Another Chief Engineer AKM Fakhrul Islam was suspended on August 02, 2017 after an ACC team caught him red-handed while taking bribe at his Motijheel office on July 18.