The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has launched a probe into allegations of fund embezzlement against a number of leaders of Hefazat-e-Islam, including its chief Junayed Babunagari and joint secretary Mamunul Haque.
The Hefazat leaders are facing allegations of embezzling crores of taka from the funds of their organisation, different madrasas, orphanages and Islamic institutions and foreign aid meant for spending on religious purposes.Some of the Hefazat leaders have allegedly laundered huge money received from different sources. Suspicious transactions of money were also found at their bank accounts.
The anti-graft body has decided to carry out a probe against the Hefazat leaders after it found truth of the allegations through Bangladesh Bank and its intelligence unit, ACC sources said.
The ACC on May 17 formed a six-member committee led by its Director Aktar Hossain Azad to probe the allegations against the leaders of the Qawmi madrasa-based organisation.
ACC Commissioner (Investigation) Dr Mozammel Haque Khan said, “We received many complaints against Hefazat leaders from various sources. The commission has recently decided to carry out a probe into these allegations.” “An inquiry team has already been formed in this regard. If the allegations against the Hefazat leaders are found to be true during investigation, legal action will be taken against them,” he added.
Earlier on March 31, Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) of Bangladesh Bank sought all bank account details of 24 leaders of Hefazat-e-Islam and 30 madrasas.
The BFIU’s move came right after the recent mayhem carried out by Hefazat activists protesting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Dhaka visit to join the celebrations of the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence.The BFIU, the central financial intelligence agency, took the initiative to find out the sources of the funds of the Hefazat-e-Islam and other Islamist organisations.
Those whose bank accounts have been sought includes Hefazat’s dissolved committee chief Junayed Babunagari, Secretary General Nur Hossain Kasemi, Vice-President Mahfuzul Haque, Finance Secretary Monir Hossain Kasemi, Bangladesh Khelafat Majlish Ameer Moulana Islami Nurpori and Secretary General Mamunul Haque.
Of them, Nur Hossain Kasemi passed away in December last year.
The BFIU also asked the banks to submit bank account details of Islami Andolan Bangladesh Ameer Syed Mohammad Rezaul Karim, Secretary General Syed Faizul Karim and Bangladesh Imam and Musolli Oikya Parishad Secretary General at Demra Mahmudul Hasan Siraji.
It has also sought bank account details of 30 madrasas, including Al-Jamiatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Moinul Islam, popularly known as Hathazari Madrasah located in Chattogram.
The BFIU has recently sent a progress report to the ACC after it found suspicious transaction at the bank accounts of the Hefazat leaders.
Meanwhile, Detectives Branch (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police identified a total of 313 people who financed the controversial Islamist organisation on several occasions.
AKM Hafiz Akhter, additional commissioner of the Detective Branch of the DMP at a press briefing on April, 21 said, “We’ve so far identified 313 people who have financed Hefazat on different occasions and found evidence of Tk 6.47 crore transacted through Mamunul’s two bank accounts.”