ACC says Benazir family may get 15 days

The Report Desk

Published: June 4, 2024, 08:16 PM

ACC says Benazir family may get 15 days

Former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Benazir Ahmed. Photo: Collected

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) of Bangladesh may grant former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Benazir Ahmed and his family a 15-day extension if they request it, according to ACC Commissioner Zahurul Haque.

Regarding the summons of Benazir Ahmed and his family, the ACC Commissioner told reporters, "There is no clear legal stipulation that someone must appear if the ACC issues a notice. If they do not appear, it can be assumed they have no statement to make. However, they have the opportunity to ask for time. If requested, the ACC can grant a 15-day extension. This is within the commissioner‍‍`s authority."

He further explained, "If they do not come even after the extension, it will be assumed they have no statement. The investigation will then proceed based on available documents and evidence."

When asked if Benazir Ahmed and his family members are currently in the country, the commissioner said, "We have no specific information about whether they are in the country or abroad. All necessary steps are being taken for the investigation."

He added, "The trial will proceed in the absence of the accused if necessary. This will be determined by the court."

The ACC has also begun investigating whether Benazir Ahmed and his family have any assets abroad.

On May 28, the ACC sent a letter to the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) to search for any foreign assets owned by the family.

ACC sources revealed that, after uncovering significant assets owned by the Benazir family in various districts, there is suspicion they might have laundered money abroad. Consequently, the ACC‍‍`s investigation team has requested BFIU to send Mutual Legal Assistance Requests (MLAR) to check for assets in Dubai, Canada, and the United States.

Through BFIU, the ACC has sought information from these countries. Several high-level ACC sources have confirmed this.

Earlier, ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan told TBS that the ACC is investigating whether Benazir Ahmed, his wife, and three daughters have laundered money abroad.

He stated, "The ACC will investigate Benazir‍‍`s assets in Dubai, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. If any illegal assets are found, the ACC will follow the legal process to seize and freeze them."

Additionally, the decision to arrest Benazir Ahmed depends on the investigating officers, the lawyer added.

He also mentioned, "If necessary, the investigating officers will request a travel ban on Benazir Ahmed from the court. If more illicit assets are discovered during the investigation, the ACC will apply to the court for their seizure."

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