Bangladesh graft watchdog summons Ha-Meem Group owner AK Azad 

The Anti-Corruption Commission has summoned Ha-Meem Group owner AK Azad accusing him of amassing wealth illegally.

Published : 21 March 2018, 10:14 AM
Updated : 21 March 2018, 03:09 PM

The ACC issued a letter asking Azad to be present at the commission on Apr 3, the graft watchdog’s spokesman Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya said on Wednesday.

The new development came a day after capital development authority RAJUK demolished parts of his Gulshan home build without following an approved design. Azad insists he followed the approved design in building the house. 

The graft watchdog’s notice, served by Director Mir Md Joynul Abedin, accuses Azad of evading taxes in millions of taka and amassing wealth illicitly.

An ACC official told a person filed a complaint against AK Azad in October last year.

The person alleged Azad amassed a huge amount of wealth by dodging taxes of his different companies and also laundered a huge amount of money abroad, the ACC official said.   

“We are now investigating the allegations,” he said.

Azad, 59, who made a fortune in readymade garment business, is Managing Director of Ha-Meem Group. The Group’s concerns extend from RMG to packaging, jute, tea, chemical, transport and several other sectors.   

Azad is also a director of Shahjalal Islami Bank.

His Times Media Limited owns TV station Channel 24 and Bangla daily Samakal. He is the publisher of the newspaper and managing director of the TV station.

Azad faced a case on graft charges along with many other businesses and politicians in 2008 during the military-controlled caretaker government.

He was accused of having assets worth Tk 203.6 million besides his declared wealth.

The ACC wrapped up the case like many others after the Awami League came to power.

Azad, a vice-president of Faridpur district Awami League, had been involved with leftist politics during his student days.

His name appeared in newspaper reports as an aspirant for Awami League’s ticket in Faridpur 3 and 4 constituencies before the last two parliamentary polls, but he did not run.
Faridpur-3 MP Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain is the LGRD minister now while the Awami League candidate, its Presidium Member Kazi Zafarullah, lost to independent candidate Mujibur Rahman Chowdhury in the 2014 general elections.