New Age | Matiur `leaves country’ before travel ban

New Age | Matiur `leaves country’ before travel ban

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NBR member Md Matiur Rahman.

Md Matiur Rahman, a member of the National Board of Revenue, reportedly left the country, a day before the imposition of an international travel ban by a Dhaka court on Monday in connection with corruption allegations.

Matiur went to India through Akhaura land port on Sunday afternoon, claimed media reports, adding that he might go to the United Arab Emirates from India.

The controversial NBR official was lastly seen at an interview in a private television channel on the second day of Eid-ul-Azha on June 18.

Matiur’s mobile number was found switched off while he was absent at his office since it opened after Eid-ul-Azha.

In the recent past, a number of graft suspects had left the country before the court issued travel bans following ACC petitions.

The Dhaka Metropolitan Senior Special Judge Court on Monday imposed an international travel ban on Md Matiur Rahman, and his family members in connection with corruption allegations.

His family members facing the ban are Matiur’s first wife Layla Kaniz who is upazila parishad chairman of Narsingdi’s Raipura, and their son Ahmed Taufiqur Rahman Arnob.

Judge Mohammed Ash-Shams Jaglul Hossain passed the order, allowing a petition submitted by the Anti-Corruption Commission.

The travel ban comes a day after the government removed Matiur from the post of president of NBR’s Customs, Excise and VAT Appellate Tribunal amid graft charges.

ACC deputy director Anwar Hossain in a petition told the court that there were allegations against Matiur that he amassed huge illegal wealth and laundered money abroad.

Amid the corruption allegations, the Financial Institutions Division on Monday relieved controversial custom officer Matiur Rahman from Sonali Bank’s board in which he had been serving as a director since February 2022.

Earlier on Sunday, the finance ministry attached Matiur to its Internal Resources Division in a move to launch a departmental inquiry into the allegations of amassing illegal wealth brought against him.

The allegations of corruption by the NBR official came to light after a video went viral on the social media that depicted Matiur’s son Mushfiqur Rahman Ifat with a goat he bought for Tk 15 lakh before Eid-ul-Azha.

Apart from the departmental inquiry, Matiur is facing an inquiry by the ACC for the fifth time in the last two decades.

In 2004, the ACC launched the first investigation against Matiur, while it conducted three more inquiries in 2008, 2013 and 2021 without any breakthrough.

On June 4, the ACC in its meeting decided to launch a fresh inquiry into the corruption allegations brought against him.

The ACC formed a three-member team led by its deputy director Md Anwar Hossain to examine the allegations against him of amassing illegal wealth and money laundering.

Matiur Rahman is from Muladi upazila in Barishal. There are also allegations that Matiur’s first wife Layla Kaniz, formerly a teacher, amassed a huge amount of wealth using her husband’s ill-gotten money.

According to her affidavit submitted to the Election Commission, Layla owned movable wealth worth Tk 3.69 crore, 1.55 acres of agricultural land and 7.06 acres of non-agricultural land.

Ifat, a son from Matiur’s second wife Shammi Akhtar, caught the social media spotlight after buying a goat for an exorbitant price, attracting widespread attention and criticism.

At one point of the controversy, Matiur denied to the media that Ifat was his son. Later his relatives confirmed that he lied.

It was reported that using illegal income Matiur and his family became owners of resorts, shooting spots, bungalows, land and other properties.

Matiur denied the graft allegations, saying that the ACC gave him clean chits four times in the past.

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