Padma graft probe: ACC team set to fly to Canada

A two-member Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) team on Sunday applied for visas to visit Canada to complete its ongoing investigation into the much-talked-about Padma Bridge graft case.

“Today, we applied for visas to the Canadian High Commission in Dhaka. We’ll fly for Canada once the visas are in our hands. We may fly in a day or two,” investigation officer of the Padma graft case and team member Mirza Zahidul Alam told reporters at the ACC head office.

On April 4, the Commission issued a government order (GO) allowing the team to go to Canada to probe the graft allegation in the Padma Bridge project.

The team members are ACC legal adviser advocate Anisul Haque and Zahidul Alam. The team will stay in Canada for 12 days from April 8 to collect documents related to the Padma graft case.

As two Canadian nationals, reportedly involved in Padma graft conspiracy, are currently facing trial in a Canadian court and the Royal Canadian Mountain Police (RCMP) seized some documents in this regard, the Commission has decided to send its team to Canada to probe the case.

The ACC has almost completed the investigation into the Padma graft case in Bangladesh part and it is waiting to complete the remaining investigation on the Canadian side.

On December 17 last year, the ACC filed a case against seven people for their alleged involvement in the Padma Bridge project dropping the names of key suspects former Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain and former State Minister for Foreign Affairs Abul Hasan Chowdhury.

Two top officials of SNC Lavalin (a Canadian consultancy firm, which participated in bidding process in getting work in the Padma Bridge project) -- Mohammad Ismail, former director of SNC Lavalin, and Ramesh Shah, former vice president of firm, -- were also sued in the graft case.

Earlier, the Royal Canadian Mountain Police seized Ramesh’s diary where he had mentioned Syed Abul Hossain as the recipient of 4 percent out of 10 percent (Tk 38 crore) bribe from the supervision work money and the ACC is trying to collect the copy of the diary.