Aziz’s brothers: Committee to probe fake NIDs

Haris Ahmed and Tofael Ahmed

The Election Commission (EC) is investigating into the matter of former army chief General (retired) Aziz Ahmed’s two brothers making national identity cards (NID) providing false information. A three-member committee was formed on Sunday for this purpose.

Alongside changing their own names, two brothers of Aziz Ahmed -- Haris Ahmed and Tofail Ahmed alias Joseph -- collected NIDs by changing the name of their parents as well. Tofail had two NIDs made, one under the name Tanvir Ahmed Tanzil and the other in his original name. Haris Ahmed made an NID under the named Mohammed Hasan.

Haris replaced his own photo on the NID made under the name Mohammed Hasan in 2019. The then army chief General (retired) Aziz Ahmed had made the recommendation for the replacement of the photo. Making NIDs providing false information and having several NIDs made are both punishable offence under the penal code.

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These two infamous brothers have made passports providing false information as well. Their wives have also done the same. Reports were published in different local and international media including Prothom Alo about Aziz Ahmed’s influence in making national identity cards and passports providing false information for his brothers during his tenure as the army-chief.

Prothom Alo published a report on Aziz Ahmed making recommendations for Tofail collecting two NIDs and for replacing Haris’s photo in the NID on this 28 May.

Sources concerned stated that the election commission discussed the matter after it was reported in the media. Meanwhile, the anti corruption commission (ACC) also sent a letter to the election commission (EC) in this regard. Later on Sunday, a three-member committee was formed making a joint secretary of the election commission the committee head.

Former army chief Gen. (retd) Aziz Ahmed
File photo

When asked, EC secretary at the secretariat Shafiul Azim told Prothom Alo Sunday that they have received a letter from ACC as well. A committee has been formed to investigate the allegations.

A review of various police and court documents, as well as an appeal filed by Aziz Ahmed’s mother seeking to reduce sentences of Tofail Ahmed Joseph and the government gazette on commuting sentences show Abdul Wadud and Renuza Begum written as the names of Haris and Joseph’s parents.

But, the new NID and passports taken up by Haris, mentions Suleman Sarkar as the father’s name and Rahela Begum as the mother’s name in it. Meanwhile, in the national identity card and passport collected by Joseph on the name Tanzil, has Solaiman Sarkar written as the father’s name and Fatema Begum as the mother’s name.

However, the NID made under Tofail’s real name mention’s the names Abdul Wadud and Renuza Begum as his parents’. There he mentioned educational qualification as class eight and profession as a businessman.

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 Another of Aziz Ahmed’s brother Anis was sentenced to lifetime imprisonment in a murder case while Haris was given life for murder in two cases. The state ministry issued the gazette of commuting their sentences on 28 March of 2019.

Joseph was accused in a case filed over the killing of businessman Mostafizur Rahman from Mohammadpur in 1996. The court sentenced him to death in this case and the High Court upheld the verdict of the lower court. Later, the Appellate Division commuted the sentence to life in prison. Top criminal Tofail Ahmed alias Joseph, convicted to life imprisonment was released from prison with the presidential pardon.

Aziz Ahmed served as the army chief from 25 June 2018 to 23 June 2021. The US has imposed a sanction on the former army chief on the allegation of being involved in corruption. As a result, he and his family members have lost the eligibility to enter the US.