Rohingyas Getting Passports: ‘Lost’ EC laptop used for dubious NID data entries | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 16, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:37 AM, September 16, 2019

Rohingyas Getting Passports: ‘Lost’ EC laptop used for dubious NID data entries

Finds ACC probe team

A special laptop for inputting NID information into the Election Commission’s server has been missing from the Chattogram District Election Office since 2015 and investigators believe it was used for making over 2,000 dubious entries. 

Anti-Corruption Commission officials yesterday discovered this while visiting the office.

Besides, several forms used for collecting NID information were also found missing from the store of the office, said ACC sources.

The ACC team, led by Deputy Assistant Director Sharif Uddin of ACC Integrated District Office (Ctg 2), yesterday visited the EC office in port city’s Lovelane area to probe the suspicious entries into the NID server and the incident of a Rohingya woman becoming a voter.

On Wednesday, the ACC team had gone to the office to probe the incident of Rohingyas caught with Bangladeshi NID and passports. They also visited the Chattogram Divisional Passport Office for this purpose last week.

Sharif told The Daily Star that after the incidents of Rohingyas with Bangladeshi NIDs and passports came to light, the ACC started the investigation. 

“During the visit, the ACC officials found that the special laptop had direct connection to NID server with a designated IP address and the Election Commission officials did not know anything about it going missing,” he said.

Sharif said the EC officials did not even lodge any general diary for the missing laptop.

“As per our information, the laptop was used in Banshkhali upazila and Panchliash area of the city the last time and we suspected that around 2,000 to 2,500 dubious entries into the NID server were made with the laptop,” Sharif said.

The anti-graft official added that they could not say whether those entries were made for the Rohingyas.

ACC sources said the ACC team also found several printed NID forms missing from the store. The election officials there had no clue.

They also alleged that a syndicate of nine to 10 people was active at the election office. They were involved in different irregularities in exchange for money.

According to the ACC team, when it asked District Election Officer Munir Hussain Khan about the missing laptop, he failed to respond properly. 

He first told the team that the laptop was sent to Mirsarai upazila in 2015. But it was later found that the upazila election office did not receive any such laptop.

Munir said the laptop went missing before his joined the office and he did not know anything about it. He joined around a year ago.

Replying to a question, he said four laptops used in Chandanaish upazila went missing in 2012 and general diaries were filed for those with police station.

Meanwhile, two policemen were withdrawn yesterday for their failure to verify the addresses used for making Bangladeshi passports for three Rohingya youths in Noakhali. 

The policemen are Abul Kalam and Nurul Huda, assistant sub-inspectors of Special Branch (SB) of police in Noakhali. 

The two were attached to the district police lines, said Alamgir Hossain, superintendent of Noakhali police. 

On September 6, police arrested three Rohingya youths with Bangladeshi passports in Chattogram city. 

In primary interrogation, the Rohingya youths said they had the passports made from Noakhali regional passport office. 

They used fake birth certificates and citizenship certifications that they were residents of Kadra union in Senbagh upazila of Noakhali. 

The two police officers were responsible for verifying the addresses and submitting reports to the Noakhali regional passport office. 

Our Noakhali correspondent contributed to this report.

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