14 sources of graft at land ports: ACC | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 27, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:14 AM, February 27, 2020

14 sources of graft at land ports: ACC

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has found 14 sources of graft at the 10 land ports of the country operated by Bangladesh Land Port Authority.

On the basis of annual and audit reports, victims' statement and interviews of former and current officials, a three-member team of ACC has found out the sources.

ACC Commissioner Dr Md Mozammel Haque Khan yesterday handed over the report to State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury at the latter's office, said Director of the anti-graft body Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya.

According to the report, to pocket public money, top officials Bangladesh Land Port Authority divided big development works into small packages and gave work to the same contractor again and again.

"They divide the works into small packages to avert competition in tender process," it said.

As per the report, port authorities often violate the corresponding act to award jobs to unfit contractors. These land ports recruit staffers through outsourcing, and there is no supervision, which gives scope to draw wages illegally, it added.

The report said there are allegations against Compliance Bargaining Agents (CBA) of the land ports of taking bribe from contractors and syndicates who are involved in stealing.

There are also allegations against officials and staffer of taking bribe, and "anti-social activities" in the ports.

ACC found that port officers illegally engage outsiders in official work, including at weighbridge, yards and sheds.

There is a hearsay that a quarter of port officers have created a strong network, which is involved in stealing goods from warehouses. Port officials also help importers dodge tariffs, the report said.

The anti-graft watchdog made a 28-point recommendation to prevent corruption at land ports.

It suggested to launch automated system for goods handling, forming a joint vigilance team, improving intelligence system, taking action against smugglers and strengthening the monitoring system for tariff collection.

Talking to reporters, Mozammel said the report was produced so that the concerned ministry could take steps to prevent corruption.

After receiving the report, Khalid Mahmud said steps will be taken after investigating the matters.

In 2017, the ACC formed 25 teams to find irregularities in as many ministries and directorates, and to make recommendations to check those.

 

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