Govt removes Matiur from NBR

The finance ministry on Sunday attached custom officer Matiur Rahman to its Internal Resources Division in a move to launch a departmental inquiry against him over allegations of amassing illegal assets and wealth.

Anti-Corruption Commission has fielded a three-member team against Matiur’s corruption after four previous attempts by the anti-graft body since 2004 bore no fruits.

Meanwhile, Sonali Bank in its board meeting on the day banned the presence of Matiur, serving as a board member since February 2022.

A number of finance ministry officials said that the departmental inquiry against Matiur Rahman, who was serving as the president of the Customs, Excise, and VAT Appellate Tribunal of the National Board of Revenue, will start soon.

IRD deputy secretary Mokima Begum signed the attachment order against the backdrop of media reports of amassing illegal wealth and money laundering to Singapore, the United States, Canada, and Dubai by the custom officer.

The allegations came to light after a video of Matiur’s son, Mushfiqur Rahman Ifat who bought a goat at a price of Tk 15 lakh, went viral on the social media before Eid-ul-Azha.

The issue becomes a talk of the town while the government has been facing criticisms because of amassing illegal assets allegedly by former IGP Benazir Ahmed and former Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner Md Asaduzzaman.

Beside the departmental inquiry, the controversial custom officer is going to face the investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission for the fifth time in last two decade over the allegations of corruption.

In 2004, ACC launched the first investigation against Matiur Rahman, according to a document of the anti-graft body.

Three more investigation attempts by the ACC were made in 2008, 2013 and 2021 without any breakthrough while the files of the initiatives are missing now.

On June 4, the present commission in a meeting decided to launch the new investigation and find out the missing files, said its officials.

ACC’s new team will be led by its deputy director Md Anwar Hossain.

The team leader will be assisted by assistant director Mahmudul Hassan and deputy assistant director Sabikun Nahar to examine the allegations of amassing illegal wealth and the reported capital flight by Matiur.

Sonali Bank chairman Ziaul Hasan Siddiqui, after a board meeting, told reporters on Sunday that Matiur Rahman had been instructed not to attend the board meeting further.

Matiur was appointed a director of the largest state-owned commercial banks in February 2022 for a three-year term.

The SB chairman also told reporters that the board of directors had no responsibility to remove Matiur Rahman and indicated that that the responsibility lies with the Financial Institution Division under the finance ministry.

The FID officials said they had taken preparations to cancel the directorship of Matiur once they get approval from finance minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali who is now touring abroad.

The finance minister is expected to return home on June 27.

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