From 2001 to 2006: Khaleda Zia's ministers and mayors were engrossed in land grabbing and corruption

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Published on November 13, 2022
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The corruption of Khaleda Zia's Home Minister Altaf Hossain Chowdhury and Barisal City Mayor Mujibur Rahman Sarwar reached beyond the borders of the country and abroad. Bangladesh became the world champion in corruption five times in a row from 2001 to 2006 thanks to the unbridled corruption and money laundering by the BNP-Jamaat alliance and the then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's family members. The media started publishing reports about the anomalies after the caretaker government began a crackdown against corruption in 2007.

The Jugantor newspaper, on July 8, 2007, reported that the anti-corruption commission found a huge amount of money, houses, cars, mills and factories of BNP leaders Altaf and Sarwar. But they struggled to find the source of these funds. Investigation officials said that the BNP leaders acquired crores of taka by grabbing the government and people’s land.

Half of Altaf Chowdhury's house on 10 Kathas in Gulshan included the government land. He occupied the land and built a house under the influence of the incumbent government. He also owned several houses and lands in Patuakhali and Mirzaganj. He demolished another person’s properties while building a house in Kazipara of Patuakhali. Besides, he acquired plots and flats in the name of his brothers in Dhaka. During his tenure as a minister, he became the owner of hundreds of crores of taka in the guise of GSP Leasing Company. He was reported to have more businesses in several countries, including a spinning mill in Pakistan. Also, police found crores of taka in his bank accounts.

Meanwhile, Detectives found 26 land deeds and a bundle of crores of taka in Barisal Mayor Mujibur Rahman Sarwar's house during a raid. The value of the land and assets against the deeds was hundreds of crores of taka. The ACC even found evidence of transactions of billions of taka from the accounts of Islami Bank and National Bank in five years. The mayor built his own residence on the vested property in the city. This BNP leader illegally grabbed land and built houses. Flats were found in Siddeshwari and Gulshan, and plots in Banani and Uttara in Dhaka. Apart from this, he possessed huge sums of money in two banks in Dhaka, which had no legitimate source.

During the rule of BNP-Jamaat, all their leaders and activists got involved in looting Bangladesh in such ways.