Fake government officials being trafficked abroad
AMIDST the grisly reports of human trafficking through the seas comes another shocker : Bangladeshis, posing as government officials, entering foreign countries with fake passports.
The scam, apparently involving corrupt officials in the bureaucracy and the passport office, was revealed through an embarrassing letter from the Turkish government. This is in complete violation of the bilateral agreement between Bangladesh and Turkey that allows government officials to travel to each other's countries without visas. After reaching Turkey, Bangladeshi government officials can easily get visas to other countries in Europe. It is reprehensible that certain unscrupulous staff of the state have been abusing this agreement, breaching security and maligning the image of Bangladesh internationally.
It is not known how long this practice of smuggling people by passing them off as government staff, has been going on. It may give rise to speculations regarding what other kinds of corrupt activities are going on in the bureaucracy.
That the Department for Immigration and Passports has probed into the matter and suspended a few officials who verified the fake passports with their signatures, is good news. The State Minister for Home has assured the media that stern actions will be taken against those involved, whether they are political leaders or government officials. We have seen from the past, however, that such assurances are not always followed by the kind of vigorous investigation required to bring perpetrators of crime to book.
For the sake of security, the credibility of the bureaucracy and the international image of Bangladesh, we urge the government to act expeditiously and get to the bottom of this scandalous scam.