July 9, 2008
DHAKA (AFP) — Bangladesh's top anti-corruption body admitted Tuesday that it has discovered several of its own officials taking bribes while enforcing a nationwide crackdown on the practice.
The Anti-Corruption Commission is planning to take action against 28 of its staff, including 11 who will have to go to court, commission spokesman Colonel Hanif Iqbal told AFP.
"We have decided to take action against 28 of our officials after an internal monitoring and surveillance has found them seeking or taking bribes and breaking service rules such as secretly buying properties," Iqbal said.
The officials exposed include two directors and several assistant directors, he said, adding the ACC would continue its "strict surveillance."
Bangladesh's military-backed government reconstituted the ACC immediately after it took power in January last year following the imposition of a state of emergency and the cancellation of elections.
The commission was made independent and given strong powers in an effort to clean up the country's graft-tainted reputation.
Bangladesh is rated one of the world's most corrupt countries by Berlin-based business watchdog Transparency International.
The body has filed scores of cases against political leaders, former ministers and top businessmen, accused of plundering state wealth and taking millions of dollars in kickbacks.