Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera released a documentary which shows that that a gang linked to top officials colluded with the country’s security forces to sell off lucrative jobs. The documentary, “All the Prime Minister’s Men” accuses General Aziz Ahmed, chief of staff for the Bangladeshi Army, of helping to protect his brothers, Haris and Anis Ahmed, who are wanted for the 1996 murder of a rival politician.
General Ahmed’s one brother Haris fled to Hungary and lives there under an assumed name, Mohammad Hasan. Anther brother Anis lives in Malaysia.
After changing his identity, Haris was able to set up a business and buy properties across Europe, allegedly by using money from Bangladesh accrued by a large-scale bribery scheme. Haris collected bribes in return for lucrative government contracts that he was able to arrange with his connection to corrupt officials in Dhaka. Al Jazeera recordings show that Ahmed brothers have been selling off jobs in Bangladesh’s police forces for hundreds of thousands of dollars in collusion with senior officers.
Al Jazeera claims General Ahmed has close connections with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and Haris and Anis Ahmad served as the prime minister’s bodyguards when she led the then-opposition party Awami League. But Sheikh Hasina denies any links with Haris. Aziz Ahmed’s brothers started out leading a Dhaka-based street gang that provided muscle to Hasina and her political party, the Awami League.
According to Al Jazeera report that Hasina is providing political protection to the Ahmed brothers.
Local media has so far published only the government response to the documentary without even publishing what the government is responding to. The Daily Star, said in its editorial that country’s Digital Security Act, could be used to suppress free speech.
Israeli-made surveillance equipment sold through a convicted criminal is being used by the Bangladeshi government to target political opposition, the Al Jazeera investigation has found. Bangladesh army secretly purchased the Israeli equipment in 2018 using a Bangkok-based middleman and one of the Ahmed brothers. Officially Bangladesh does not recognise Israel and citizens are banned from travelling there until there is an independent Palestinian state.
Source: DW.com and Al Jazeera.