Power abuse creating ‘Frankenstein’ like Benazir: TIB

TIBProthom Alo illustration

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has raised serious concerns about the former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Benazir Ahmed, who is accused of amassing a huge amount of illegal wealth and property through misuse of power.

TIB emphasised that unchecked power abuse by high-ranking officials creates “Frankenstein-like figures” and undermines the state’s accountability.

The organisation called for decisive legal action against those aiding such abuses and demanded compensation for individuals coerced into selling their land by the former police chief, according to a press release.

Reports indicate the former IGP used fear tactics and hostage-taking to force land sales, primarily targeting minorities. He allegedly employed personnel from his own and other state agencies to carry out these acts.

In the media release, the TIB executive director said there was no scope to accept the claim that the government did not know anything about the corruption of Benazir Ahmed and his huge amount of assets.

TIB executive director Iftekharuzzaman described the situation as outrageous, highlighting that properties were forcibly acquired through intimidation and collusion with law enforcement and government agencies. Victims’ chances of justice were systematically blocked, necessitating exemplary punishment for the main accused and compensation for the victims, it said.

The ongoing investigation into the former IGP’s corruption has revealed new details about his illicit wealth. Iftekharuzzaman questioned how Benazir Ahmed and his family fled the country amid these serious allegations.

He noted that media reports suggest the former police chief withdrew significant funds from banks before leaving the country, raising suspicions of collusion or assistance from bank officials in laundering money abroad.

Iftekharuzzaman emphasised that justice requires prosecuting not only the former IGP but also those who aided him. The release also said.

He criticised the government for failing to notice the former police chief’s actions, suggesting governmental complicity or active encouragement of his corruption.

The TIB executive director also called for the release of names of all corrupt individuals and accountability for all involved to demonstrate the government’s commitment to zero tolerance against corruption.

He warned that failure to act would reinforce public perception of the government's anti-corruption efforts as mere theatrics.

“According to the ruling party’s general secretary and the road transport and bridges minister, Obaidul Quader, the government possesses information on all corrupt individuals. Despite such acknowledgments being rare, the government must address how a high-ranking police official could establish such a flagrant culture of corruption, added the release.

“Releasing the names of corrupt individuals and ensuring accountability for all involved is imperative to demonstrate the government’s commitment to zero tolerance against corruption. Failure to do so will only reinforce the perception among citizens of such commitments as mere theatrics,” added Iftekharuzzaman.