Land-flat with 'illegal' income, couple under ACC radar

Galib KhanCollected

The couple have bought lands, flats and cars and they have also invested in the stock market.

They have deposited a large sum of money as well. However, these are not consistent with their income. Now the couple are now under the radar of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

They are Galib Khan, deputy registrar of the Department of Cooperatives, and his wife Tania Sultana alias Rakhi, vice-president of a private bank.

The ACC has filed two separate cases against Galib Khan and his wife on 12 October on charge of gaining properties illegally.

The cases have been filed against them on charges of amassing properties worth Tk 49.7 million beyond their disclosed source of income.

The ACC has filed the cases after getting information on their illegal properties during the primary investigation. The investigation is still underway.

Sources at the department of cooperatives have alleged Galib Khan amassed money illegally by facilitating irregularities in the cooperative associations and through the recruitment-business. He has amassed properties through these illegal means.

A recruitment process is underway in the department at the moment. There are allegations that several dishonest officials are taking large amount of money from the candidates promising them jobs.

However, Galib Khan denies all the allegations brought against him. Talking to Prothom Alo, he claimed that he barred an employee of his office from doing corruptions. The employee later convinced one of his relatives working in the ACC to file the case.

ACC officials lodged the case at the behest of one of his relatives, who is also an employee under Galib Khan.

“He did that as I prevented him from doing corruption,” he added.

He further said, “I along with my wife earn Tk 500,000 per month from salary. I also have investments in the stock market. We have made properties from these incomes as well as bank loans.”

However, according to the case statement, in several cases the couple failed to prove that they amassed properties through legal incomes. In many cases, they failed to establish that their income was legitimate. The allegations of acquiring properties beyond known source of income were brought after comparing their income and value of the properties owned by them.

How much does Galib own?

According to the sources in the department of cooperatives, Galib Khan joined the cooperatives department as the assistant registrar from the BCS cooperative cadre. He was promoted to the post of district cooperative officer in 2016. Later, he was appointed the deputy registrar in 2018.

There are allegations that Galib Khan, while serving as the district cooperative officer, misappropriated a large sum of money from ‘Destiny’ and ‘Mamata Cooperative Society’ in connivance with the two top leaders of the associations.

According to the statement of the case filed by the ACC, Galib Khan bought a piece of land and became owner of a 1,416 square feet-flat there. He also bought 62 decimal lands in Faridpur. Besides, he has deposited a large sum of money in the bank and has savings certificates.

The tangible and intangible properties of Galib Khan are worth Tk 27.7 million whereas he has shown a total income of Tk 6.2 million from 2008-09 fiscal to 2021-22 fiscal, that is Tk 40,000 per month on average.

Besides, he has shown an income of Tk 12.4 million from stock market, Tk 987,000 from selling lands, Tk 76,000 from the interest of fixed deposit in the banks and Tk 172,000 from the interest of provident fund.

The ACC says that Galib Khan could not provide any documents in favour of declared income from selling land. In addition, he acquired properties before his earnings from the stock market. The ACC interrogated him in October, last year over allegations of money laundering.

More properties in his wife’s name

According to the statement of the case filed against Galib Khan’s wife Tania Sultana, she owns two plots of three and a half kathas in the capital. She also has a flat in the Dhanmondi area. She has bought more than two and a half acres of land in Faridpur. She also has money deposited in different banks, savings certificates and cars. Tania Sultana’s properties are worth Tk 72.6 million in total. She could not provide any proof in favour of amassing properties worth 28.3 million legally.

The cases against Galib Khan and his wife Tania Sultana were filed by the then deputy director of ACC, Shaheen Ara Momtaz. She retired recently.

Talking to Prothom Alo, she said, “We lodged the case on the allegation of amassing properties beyond known source of income on the basis of the information we got during the investigation.”

Fahmida Akter, the current investigation officer of the cases filed against Galib Khan and Tania Sultana, ACC assistant director told Prothom Alo that the investigation is underway. "We are investigating whether they have any further undeclared properties or not."

Parliamentary committee asked to take actions

The parliamentary standing committee on local government, rural development and co-operatives discussed the allegations of corruption against Galib Khan in 2018. The committee at the time recommended the department of cooperatives for taking action against him. The ACC also recommended the same. However, instead of doing that, the authorities promoted him to the post of deputy registrar. 

Tarun Kantik Sikder, director general of the department of cooperatives, said, “A departmental case was filed against Galib Khan. After getting acquitted of the case he got the promotion. Action will be taken immediately once the ACC frames charges against him.”

A report of the department of cooperatives in 2017 said, “Some 266 cooperative societies collected deposits totaling Tk 40.68 billion from people but didn’t return. Most of them have closed down their offices and fled. The report was prepared based on information on these cooperative societies, which closed their operation from 2008 to 2017 after collecting deposits across the country."

There was also an allegation that several cooperative officials were involved in the misappropriation. On condition of anonymity a member of the department of cooperatives told Prothom Alo, “There is a syndicate within the departement. This syndicate can ‘manage’ anything.”