ACC, the anti-graft body, filed a police case against a former land acquisition officer at the deputy commissioner's office on January 17 for the embezzlement of Tk 5 crore. The ACC recovered Tk 92 lakh by raiding one of the accused's accomplices but this is only a fraction of the full amount.
What is interesting here is that an internal probe carried out by the DC office back in December found the accused to have siphoned off Tk 8.7 crore from the land acquisition fund and once his transfer order came through, the accused withdrew a huge amount from the DC office's account at the Sonali Bank. The withdrawal of such a large amount is what tipped off the DC office and the ACC got wind of it from there.
We hope the ACC will go the whole nine yards in uncovering the racket that allowed for a coterie of land office officials to gain access to a government land compensation fund. This is more so because various departments and ministries are involved in large-scale land acquisition to pave the way for development projects. With thousands of crores of taka involved in the buying of land, the anti-graft body must remain vigilant to help plug the holes in the system that allow for such graft to take place.
The ACC's prompt action has helped to ward off a major embarrassing situation for local authorities. The investigation into the matter must be allowed to run its course so that all those involved can be brought to face justice. Only then can we expect corrupt officials to think twice before committing acts of graft.