How deep corruption seeped! | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 20, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 20, 2008


How deep corruption seeped!

Clerk amasses Tk 40cr on the job

The crusade against corruption has been carried out on three levels with varying degrees of seriousness. The first to be taken on by the ACC was corruption in high places; the second that has got underway relates to probing graft in institutions; and the third concerns itself with money making by minions turning into multimillionaires unnoticed behind the façade of a low profile.
It is in the third category that a third-class employee of Dhaka Electric Supply Authority (DESA) has hogged news headline through a front page report in our paper yesterday based on findings of an intelligence agency. At first an LDC, he soon turned into a metre reader literally grabbing all the ropes of money making by fudging figures and taking commission for under-billing etc. In the process of his bill tampering, as the national exchequer lost millions, the one-man wealth profile grew to a staggering Tk 40crore including a six-storied building, a flat, over 50 bighas of land, saving certificates, businesses, and what have you.
He could indulge in such extensive corruption because his superiors were doing so, let alone some of his peers. This is institutional corruption at its worst when there is a contagion effect of corruption through seepage from top to bottom. Just as money begot money so also money could buy connections and with it impunity. Even the public put up with such glaring instance of exhibitionism because they were resigned to such overnight accumulation of riches or may be that they were afraid of reprisals if they reported against such men.
So for years he had turned his ill-gotten money into assets that were visible and yet no action had been taken against him by either his own office or any government agency including police, intelligence or taxation authorities.
There are many such people in utility and public service organisations who had amassed money likewise. They must be ferreted out and exposed to the public. Such aberrant form of institutional corruption should be placed on the agenda of the ACC in its fight against institutional corruption.

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