Police have been unable to track down the movable and immovable assets belonging to the BNP’s acting Chairman Tarique Rahman and his wife Zubaida Rahman in line with a confiscation order issued by a Dhaka court.
No trace of the assets of the accused, who are currently absconding, was found, police said in a progress report to the court.
Dhaka Metropolitan Senior Special Judge Md Asaduzzaman subsequently issued an order on Thursday for the publication of a gazette requiring Tarique and Zubaida to appear at the next hearing in the case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission, scheduled for Feb 6.
“The chief of Cantonment Police Station submitted a report to the court saying the police did not find their assets,” said AAC’s Court Inspector Aminul Islam.
“The court ordered the BG Press to publish a gazette asking Tarique and Zubaida to appear in court,” he added.
On Nov 1, the same court issued arrest warrants for Tarique and Zubaida. But after they failed to surrender before the court, it ordered the confiscation of their assets on Jan 5.
Tarique, the son of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, has been living in London with his family since 2008.
The government sacked her in 2014 as she did not rejoin her workplace after taking a leave.
Tarique and Zubaida were named as fugitives in the case as they reside abroad, ACC lawyer Mosharraf Hossain Kajol had said earlier.
The ACC filed the case at Dhaka’s Kafrul Police Station in 2007, accusing them of owning Tk 48.15 million beyond known sources of income, hiding information on assets and acquiring assets beyond means.
Tarique's mother-in-law Iqbal Mand Banu was named as the third suspect in the case. Her name was later dropped from the case following her death.
Zubaida, daughter of former navy chief Rear Admiral Mahbub Ali Khan, married Tarique, son of late military ruler Ziaur Rahman and Khaleda, in 1993. Zubaida joined the government health service two years later.
Tarique was arrested during the 2007-08 military-backed caretaker rule. After his release in 2008, he left Bangladesh for the UK with Zubaida and their daughter.
The government sacked Zubaida in 2014 as she did not rejoin her workplace after taking a leave.
Khaleda was jailed in two corruption cases in 2018. The 76-year-old former prime minister is currently out on suspended sentences.
Tarique has been the acting chairman of the party since Khaleda's incarceration in 2018. He has already received different jail sentences in four cases, involving charges of making derogatory remarks about Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, money laundering, corruption and the Aug 21 grenade attack.