Records of Khaleda's 2 bank accounts to be seized | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 09, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 09, 2007

Records of Khaleda's 2 bank accounts to be seized

ACC allowed to quiz her at sub-jail in Gatco case

A Dhaka court yesterday gave the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) the go-ahead to seize detained former prime minister Khaleda Zia's bank account documents and records at two banks in the city in connection with the Gatco container handling graft case.
The ACC can now have the documents and records of Khaleda's Sonali Bank and Prime Bank accounts to investigate the case.
The ACC on September 2 filed the case against Khaleda, her son Arafat Rahman Koko and 11 others with Tejgaon Police Station in connection with illegally awarding Global Agro Trade (Pvt) Co Ltd (Gatco) the contract for container management at the Dhaka Inland Container Depot (ICD) and the Chittagong Port ICD yards.
The accused were charged with violating tender conditions and appointing Gatco, ignoring its lack of experience and skill, to manage the cargo handling at the ports.
Meanwhile, another Dhaka court gave the investigation officer (IO) of the case the permission to interrogate Khaleda about the graft charges brought against her at the gate of the sub-jail set up for her on the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban premises.
Judge Mohammad Azizul Haque of the Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court passed the order after ACC Deputy Director Johirul Huda submitted a petition for allowing him to seize all bank-account records and documents of Khaleda in Sonali Bank, local branch Motijheel, Dhaka, and Prime Bank, Banani branch.
Sources said the ACC requires the documents and records to see if there were any payments made to her in connection with awarding Gatco the job.
Court sources said the IO in his petition mentioned that the records and documents at the two banks should be seized for the sake of proper investigation of the case.
Metropolitan Magistrate Mizanur Rahman yesterday allowed the same IO to interrogate Khaleda Zia at the gate of the sub-jail, where she is detained, as an application seeking to interrogate her was submitted before the court.
In the petition, the IO said he needs to quiz the former premier to have her statement regarding the allegations brought against her in the Gatco case.
Meanwhile, the ACC questioned four members of the committee that prepared the tender for the container handling job at Dhaka Inland Container Depot (ICD) and Chittagong Port ICD yards and three other officials and employees of Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) in connection with the Gatco case.
The committee members were deputy traffic managers of CPA KM Moazzem Hossain and Golam Sarwar, CPA Finance Officer Elias Reza and former plant manager Nazmul Haque.
The investigators are quizzing people concerned almost every day, since questioning five former ministers of Khladea's cabinet and some former top bureaucrats on September 25, in order to submit the charge sheet and finish their investigation within the timeframe.
The tender preparing committee members were questioned on how the tender list was prepared and whether they prepared the list under political influence.
The co-accused in the case are ex-chairmen of CPA Commodore (retd) Zulfiqur Ali and AMM Shahadat Hossain, ex-director (transport) of CPA AM Sanwar Hossain, former chief finance and accounts officer Ahmed Abul Qashem, former director Luthful Kabir, Ismail Hossain Simon, son of former shipping minister and BNP leader Col (retd) Akbar Hossain, Gatco directors Syed Galib Ahmed, Syed Tanveer Ahmed and AKM Musa Kajol and Akbar's wife Jahanara Ansar and one Ehsan Yusuf.
Apart from Khaleda and Arafat, seven accused including Simon were earlier arrested. Moreover, Simon, Galib and Tanvir gave confessional statements admitting their involvement with graft.
In the case filed by ACC Deputy Director Golam Shahriar Chowdhury, it was alleged that the former prime minister and her son influenced the tender process and the CPA officials helped Gatco win the tender even though a three-member tender evaluation committee of the port termed Gatco unfit for the work.
A day after the filing of the case, joint forces, with an official of the ACC, arrested Khaleda and Arafat at their Dhaka Cantonment home.
Although the HC last week granted bail to Khaleda and stayed proceedings of the case, the Supreme Court later on stayed the HC order following appeals filed by the ACC.

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