Another former minister caught for tax evasion
Mar 6, 2007 - 11:37:11 AM

Dhaka, March 6 - Former minister Moudud Ahmed is the latest to be caught for alleged tax evasion as Bangladesh's caretaker government continues its anti-crime drive.

The National Board of Revenue - Monday directed banks to freeze the accounts of Ahmed and his wife Hasna. It asked for their bank statements by Thursday and said the records should cover all transactions since the accounts were opened.

Official sources said the move was part of the government's drive against politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen suspected of corruption.

The high profile Ahmed, also the author of several books on law, politics and constitution, was law minister in the Khaleda Zia government - and was vocal in his defence of the government - inside and outside parliament.

A barrister, Ahmed has been a minister in several governments, frequently changing political loyalties.

When The Daily Star contacted him for his reaction to NBR direction, he said: 'Let me receive the notice - first and then I can say what I think of it.'

Chief Advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed's drive against corruption, crime and religious extremism has netted an estimated 45,000 people, including several former ministers.

Most politicians among the 45,000 belong to Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party - and Jamaat-e-Islami -, partners in a coalition that ruled the country 2001-06, media reports said.

A Dhaka court Monday rejected bail petitions of detained former communications minister Nazmul Huda and nine other BNP leaders arrested for their alleged involvement in activities against the state.

Judge Mohammad Momin Ullah of the metropolitan sessions judge's court passed the order following 10 separate appeals against the rejection orders of the lower court and also seeking bails for Huda and others.

Some former ministers, lawmakers and party workers of the Awami League have also been caught and are being prosecuted.

While not opposing the government's action, all parties have demanded that only those charged with specific crimes be caught and that there should be no 'witch-hunting'.

They have also sought to counter the government by seeking early general elections.

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