Desk Report | আমারক্যাম্পাস২৪.কমPublished: 2017-11-08 21:24:20
Law enforcers, politicians, passport officials to middlemen are involved in the corruption, according to an intelligence report.
Those directly involved in the corruption do it in broad daylight and are known to law enforcement and the common people as ‘passport office mediators’.
The middlemen do it with the help of some corrupted passport office officials.
As per the intelligence report, not only passport office officials, but also members of the police, Special Branch of police (SB) and even Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and Ansar members in front of the Agargaon office, as well as political leaders, are involved in the corruption.
A passport office director and two deputy assistant directors also are in ‘this powerful fraud network.’
As a result, a person has to pay Tk 8,000-10,000 to process a regular passport, instead of the government’s fixed fees of Tk 3,450.
Scenario at Agargaon Passport Office
According to the investigation, there are a number of middlemen in front of the office. Of them, 14 lead the fraud network.
Once an applicant submits all documents to the middlemen, they process it without any hassle. But, this is totally illegal, the investigation found.
When asked, a middleman, Sohel said, “You have nothing to be worried about. You give me all the correct information, then leave the rest on me.”
How does the bribery network work?
The Agargaon passport office now delivers 1,400 to 1,500 passports a day. Out of them, 150-200 passports are processed through this corrupt network.
Firstly, the middlemen collect money and other passport papers from the applicants. Then, they illegally attest the documents with the help of Shahidul Islam, Akram Hossain and one Ansar member Rezaul.
The intelligence report reads that later the middlemen hand over the papers to passport officials, DAD Amin and Yasin at the rooms 701 and 702 respectively, with Tk 800-1,000 per passport.’
Amin and Yasin then gave the hush money to a director of the office, ATM Abu Asad.
When comment was sought over the matter, the director did not comment anything, but offered the reporter a cup of tea at his office.
The middlemen then gave the policemen Tk 1,000 to 2,000 for verification report.
The police, according to the intelligence report, submit their verdict without any verification.
Local political leaders shared Tk 200 per passport, and Tk 100 was given to Sher-e-Bangla police station.
A certain Md Zakir Hossain aka Shahidul distributed the money.
In the process, a broker earn Tk 1,200-2,200 for each passport.
Two brokers, Babul Haldar and Morium, said, “Processing emergency passports is more profitable for us.”
**The piece originally published in Prothom Alo Bangla has been rewritten in English by Toriqul Islam.