Row over implication of two tax officials | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 02, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:11 AM, April 02, 2021

Row over implication of two tax officials

A row has been created after Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) implicated two tax officials of Chattogram in the charge sheet of a case filed against a sub-inspector of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and his wife for amassing wealth worth Tk 1.38 crore from unknown sources.

The implication came to light in the second week of March. This correspondent managed to collect copies of the charge sheet and case statement. 

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ACC Deputy Director Md Ali Akbar, investigation officer of the case, accused tax inspector Dipankar Ghosh of not cooperating with ACC during the investigation. He also accused additional assistant tax commissioner Bahauddin Chowdhury of  assisting the couple to amass wealth through false documents, according to the charge sheet. 

However, Dipankar Ghosh, inspector, tax region-1 (circle-9), said he was deliberately implicated, and he even did not join the service when the corruption occurred.

Following the incident, Dipankar has submitted an official letter on December 30, 2020 to the National Board of Revenue, seeking steps to exempt him from the charges. 

On an allegation, ACC had launched a primary investigation and found the couple's wealth in Dhaka and Chattogram. Later on October 9 in 2019, ACC deputy director Ali Akbar filed the case with ACC Integrated Office Chattogram-1. 

According to the case statement, SI Nawab Ali of CID and his wife Gulzar Begum amassed wealth worth Tk 1.38 crore from unknown sources. After investigation, the IO pressed charges before a Chattogram court on October 10, 2020, accusing the couple of accumulating wealth illegally and laundering money.

As per the charge sheet, Nawab's wife Gulzar opened income tax file in 2014-2015 tax year, in which she showed Tk 1,13,05,000 as income from a fishery project, and brokerage commission from 2005-2006 to 2013-2014 tax years. Nawab opened his file in 2016-2017, showing wealth of Tk 35,84,853.

The ACC, however, found no fishery project in Mirsarai as mentioned in the tax file, it says.

But tax official Bahauddin claimed that he physically visited the fishing project in Mirsarai upazila and declared Tk 1.10 crore as legal income in the tax statement, it adds.

Later on August 1 in 2018, Gulzar Begum filed a GD with Double Mooring Police Station, saying that the fishery project's main documents went missing on July 20, 2018 while she was going to Agrabad tax office.

The IO mentioned he came to know that tax inspector Dipankar helped Gulzar stage the GD "drama".

The ACC official told The Daily Star that he went to the Chattogram tax office from Dhaka on November 25, 2019 to seize the couple's tax files.

At that time, Dipankar and another tax official told him that the documents were at another circle's office, he said.

"But I didn't get the files from there. Later on January 13, 2020, I seized those from circles-9 and 10 of the tax office," said the IO.

"During the time, Dipankar ripped off my seizure list," he said. "Later, I sent him an official letter, seeking his version over the whole situation, but he did not respond."

Denying the allegations, Dipankar told this correspondent, "I  don't even know the police officer and his wife."

"I joined the tax department on March 12, 2017 and was transferred to Chattogram on August 10, 2017, and the corruption happened before I joined office. How did I help them? If I didn't cooperate, how were the files seized then?" he said.

"I didn't get any letter from ACC. The allegation of tearing the document is false. I informed the matter to my senior officials as such an allegation will deteriorate relationship between the two government agencies," he added.

Contacted, tax official Bahauddin, who retired in December 2020, said, "I was not involved in the incident."

"I talked to the IO about the assessment mistake of the case. I don't know why he did not take it into his cognizance during investigation," he added.

When asked about the overall situation, Tax Commissioner Md Riazul Islam of Tax Region-1 in Chattogram, said, "I came to learn about the matter through the media. As I did not receive formal documents, I don't want to make any comment over the matter."

On March 9, a Chattogram court sent accused Gulzar to jail on surrender when it issued an arrest warrant against her, her husband and the two tax officials.

However, the other accused did not surrender nor were arrested till April 1, court sources said.

CID SI Nawab Ali could not be contacted as his cellphone was found switched off.

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