Controller of the Office of the Chief Controller of Imports and Exports (CCI&E) Md Shahidul Haque, who was filmed taking bribes from service seekers, was withdrawn from his office yesterday and attached to the commerce ministry.
“We have withdrawn him from his current post and office and attached him to the ministry on the probe committee's recommendation. The committee will submit its primary report to the ministry tomorrow [today],” said Hedayetullah Al Mamoon, senior secretary to the commerce ministry.
“The ministry yesterday assigned four other officials to the probe committee for further investigation,” Mamoon added.
The footage shows that Shahidul was taking money from service seekers, Mamoon said, adding that the ministry issued the order for his withdrawal yesterday morning.
“We are very serious about it, and will take very tough action against him if he is proved guilty in further investigation. We have zero tolerance for any corrupt practices,” said the senior secretary.
Video clips available on the social media shows Shahidul counting notes at his office in Motijheel, bargaining with service seekers over the amount of bribe and putting the cash in his trouser pocket.
It was unclear when the video was shot. But commerce ministry sources said their top officials came to know about it before Eid-ul-Azha.
A committee led by the ministry's Joint Secretary Sadar Ali Biswas was formed on September 21, and it launched a probe into the matter after the Eid vacation.
Asked about the video tapes, Shahidul on Thursday said this was all part of a conspiracy by some officials at his office and outsiders.
Shahidul joined the public service in 1985. Before being made controller at Dhaka office, he held important positions at the commerce ministry, the Tariff Commission, and the Export Promotion Bureau.
According to the rules, businesses have to obtain registration certificates from the CCI&E to import or export goods. The fees for imports and exports are fixed, and they vary depending on the volume of the goods.
A number of businesspeople alleged that they had to pay bribes for getting certificates even though they had submitted all required documents. And Shahidul led the group that took bribes from service seekers at Dhaka office of the CCI&E.