Cops create bribe fund!
They created a joint fund of around Tk 77 lakh to bribe their superiors to expedite the promotion of 230 Barisal cops.
One of their bosses was mediating the matter and given an amount from the collected money.
All was well until some of the cops complained to higher authorities, finding the process longer than they expected.
The bribe fund got exposed; the department suspended 10 personnel of Barisal Metropolitan Police (BMP).
The suspended cops are assistant sub-inspectors Anisuzzaman, Monir Hossain and Md Hanif; nayek Kabir Hossain; drivers Shahidul Islam, Bablu Jamaddar and Dolon Baral; ration-storekeepers Abbas Uddin and Arifur Rahman; and constable Tapas Kumar Mandal.
"They were suspended for illegal money collection for promotion," BMP Commissioner Shaibal Kanti Chowdhury said, adding the suspension order reached Barisal from police headquarters on Monday and it was executed the same day.
The alleged mediator was Zillur Rahman, deputy police commissioner of Barisal. Decision about him was still pending, Shaibal said.
Executive Director of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB)
Iftekharuzzaman welcomed the police move in identifying and suspending the “corrupt” police personnel.
"But suspension is not enough. It's a temporary measure. They should be given exemplary punishment as per the law,” he told The Daily Star yesterday.
He also said the police administration has always been perceived as a corrupt institution.
According to the Global Corruption Barometer 2012, a survey carried out by Transparency International, political parties and police are the most corrupt institutions in Bangladesh.
On the Barisal bribe fund, Iftekharuzzaman said this kind of corruption occurs at different levels. Proper investigation should be conducted to find if any other cops are also involved, he added.
According to BMP sources, collection of money for the joint bribe fund began in January.
Some 600 personnel sat for departmental tests successfully in October last year; 230 of them passed and were awaiting promotion.
The 10 cops, who have been suspended, were also on the merit list. They made others believe that only the exam success won't work, and started setting up the fund with each of the 230 personnel contributing Tk 30,000 to Tk 50,000, sources added.
According to BMP Commissioner Shaibal, around Tk 77 lakh was collected under the fund.
Of the money, Tk 17 lakh was deposited with a joint account of ASI Anisuzzaman, nayek Kabir Hossain and driver Bablu at a Dutch-Bangla Bank branch in Barisal.
The rest of the money was given to Zillur Rahman, he said.
Hearing the allegation, the BMP formed a three-member probe committee on June 13. "We formed the committee as we came to know about the bribe fund. And we found the allegation true," said Shaibal.
The probe committee would submit its report soon, he added.
Meanwhile, the police headquarters formed another probe committee on June 17. The committee summoned Zillur Rahman, Bablu Jamaddar, Kabir and Monir to Dhaka.
Based on the investigation of security cell of the police headquarters, this committee recommended suspending the 10 cops.
"Before the probe committees and me, the accused admitted to their involvement in creating the fund to give to the ministries concerned for promotion," the BMP commissioner told this newspaper yesterday.
DC Zillur also acknowledged his role, added the official.
This correspondent tried to talk to Zillur but his mobile phone was found switched off. He is said to have gone on a leave three days ago.
Contacted, Shoyeb Ahmed, deputy police commissioner (headquarters) and head of the BMP-formed probe committee, said, "We have finished our investigation. We will talk about it just before submitting the report."