ACC can extend time by 15 days for Benazir, family

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) can extend 15 days for ex-IGP Benazir Ahmed and his family for appearing before the anti-graft body.

ACC commissioner Zohurul Haque said this while talking to newspersons about summoning former inspector general of police (IGP) Benazir Ahmed, his wife and three daughters at the ACC headquarters.

He also said it is not clarified in the law whether anyone is compelled to appear before the ACC if it summons anyone. If anyone does not turn up despite extending time, it means he has nothing to say in support of him, Zohurul added.

The ACC commissioner said then if documents prove that the allegations are authentic, then the follow-up actions will be taken.

When asked whether Benazir and his family members are in the country, Zohurul said they have no specific information.

Following allegations of amassing huge wealth beyond known sources of income, the ACC summoned Benazir on 6 June and his wife and children on 9 June to appear before the anti-graft watchdog.

ACC unearths that Benazir Ahmed and his wife and children have 621 bighas of land in several districts including Gopalganj, Madaripur and Dhaka, four apartments in Gulshan of Dhaka, 33 bank accounts, shares of 19 companies and three BO (beneficiary owner's) accounts and savings certificates worth Tk 3 million.

Following a petition of ACC, a Dhaka court ordered the seizure of these assets and freezing the bank accounts in two separate orders.

Sources at the law enforcing agencies said Benazir Ahmed left the country on 4 May ahead of the court order.

Benazir Ahmed was the IGP between 15 April 2020 and 30 September 2022. That means, the land bought in the name of his wife in Madaripur was during his service period as IGP.

He also served as commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police and director general of the Rapid Action Battalion. The US imposed sanctions on seven former and current officials of RAB including Benazir Ahmed, IGP at that time, for human rights abuses in December 2021.