NCC to meet in Army HQ

Tasneem Khalil

Tasneem Khalil

[Dhaka Correspondent] The National Coordination Committee Against Corruption and Serious Crimes (NCC) will meet in its office in the army headquarters Thursday to finalize the list of corruption suspects and evaluate the progress in the activities of the anti-graft task forces.

The final list is being prepared by the anti-graft committee “based on the gravity of corruption” is likely to include about 60 names. One hundred and forty-two high-profile corruption suspects were named in three lists made public earlier.

“We will hold a meeting tomorrow to review the progress in the investigation of corruption allegations,” the communications adviser, MA Matin, also chairman of the high-powered national coordination committee, told reporters in his office Wednesday. He said, a fresh list of corruption suspects was now underway. “The final list will be announced within a couple of days,” he added.

The national committee will take up a total of around 200 graft cases for inquiries, according to the NCC chairman. The task forces, working under the NCC since March, are to end their anti-graft drives by the end of this month, apparently in the face of stagnancy in economic activities.

Business community leaders at a government-initiated dialog early this month alleged that wholesale hunt for corruption suspects and the drives against black money-holders and tax dodgers by the Anti Corruption Commission and the National Board of Revenue created panic in the business community.

On March 8, the interim government formed the national coordination committee, involving senior military officials, to conduct drives against corruption and serious crimes across the country with retrospective effect from February 4. Principal Staff Officer of the Armed Forces Division Lieutenant General Masud Uddin Chowdhury is the chief coordinator of the national committee. The office to coordinate the activities of the task forces was set up at the army headquarters.

“The task forces will wind up their drives against corruption this month as we want to complete inquiries into the graft cases by the end of 2008,” Matin told reporters at the secretariat Monday. “Another list of corruption suspects, including around 60 names, will be announced by this month in addition to 142 the committee has already named in three lists,” he added.

Initially, the army-led task forces involving investigation officers from the Anti Corruption Commission started inquiring allegations of serious corruption against around 100 people most of whom are politicians. Around 100 people, including top politicians and businessmen, have been arrested on charges of corruption so far. 41 task forces are inquiring into allegations of corruption against former ministers, lawmakers and businessmen.