The toll collector who made 'millions' | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 04, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:58 AM, January 04, 2019

The toll collector who made 'millions'

He is a toll collector of Roads and Highways Department (RHD) but by “misusing power” and “taking bribe” Kamal Aktaruzzaman has made a fortune.

Kamal, now working at Ashulia Toll Plaza, joined RHD in 1986 and earned Tk 17.26 lakh from his salary and bank interest until April 2016. His current salary is about Tk 15,000.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in an inquiry found that Kamal had amassed Tk 1.17 crore beyond his known source of income and concealed information of properties worth Tk 95.38 lakh. He also provided false declaration of loan worth Tk 28 lakh in his wealth statement.

To dodge the anti-graft watchdog, the toll collector staged a drama of taking loan from a financial company to cover up his illegal earning, ACC has unearthed.

Not just Kamal, his wife Shahinur Begum also abetted her husband in amassing illegal wealth, according to ACC. Shahinur, who is a housewife, amassed wealth worth Tk 85.33 lakh beyond the known source of income.

After an inquiry, ACC's Assistant Director Faruk Ahmed filed two separate cases with Ramna Police Station yesterday.

According to the case statements, Kamal and his wife submitted their wealth statement before the ACC on April 28, 2016.

In his statement, Kamal said he has immovable properties worth Tk 48.85 lakh and moveable properties worth Tk 19 lakh. On the other hand, Shahinur declared that she has immovable properties worth Tk 16.90 lakh and moveable properties worth Tk 15.30 lakh.

According to the FIR (first information report), Kamal purchased land in three places. He bought 4.33-decimal land for Tk 20 lakh in 1997, two 2.5-decimal land for Tk 10 lakh in 1998 and Tk 5.5 lakh in 2003 in Shekhertek of Adabor.

Of the three properties, he showed his father as the buyer of two (4.33-decimal and 2.5-decimal ones). He declared that he got the properties from his father, Taiabur Rahman, through “deed of gift”.

Kamal also built a six-storey building on a 2.5-decimal land spending Tk 41.36 lakh and another three-storey building on another 2.5-decimal land for Tk 22.66 lakh.

The ACC in its investigation found that Kamal's father did not have the ability to make the “deed of gift” and the money spent on the property was earned by Kamal through “illegal means”.

In addition, to dodge the anti-graft body, Kamal in his wealth statement mentioned that he took a loan of Tk 28 lakh from Delta Brac Housing Finance Corporation for constructing a building.

But ACC found that the construction of the building was completed before 2003. He took the loan in two phases in 2011 and 2013 and paid it off in 2015.

“To bring his illegal wealth in a legal framework, he took those loans,” reads the FIR.

Kamal took another loan of Tk 45 lakh from the company in 2015 but did not mention it in the wealth statement submitted before the ACC.

Kamal's total wealth stands at Tk 1.34 crore but his salary, bank interest and previous savings between 1986 and April 2016 would be Tk 17.26 lakh.

After deduction, his wealth would be Tk 1.17 crore, which he earned beyond the known source of income.

Meanwhile, ACC filed another case against one Monirul Islam Khan, assistant personal secretary of BNP leader and former mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka, for amassing wealth worth Tk 1.52 crore beyond the known source of income and for giving false declaration of having a debt of Tk 36.21 lakh.

The case was filed with Ramna Police Station.

Both Kamal and Monirul could not be contacted over the phone for comments, despite repeated attempts.

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