Al Qaeda-connected BNP helped individual with fake certificate in getting government jobs

Bangladesh, BNP, Al Qaeda

The tenure of Al Qaeda-connected ultra-Islamist Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is often remembered for the pervasive corruption and systemic abuse of power that took place under its rule. One of the most glaring examples of this corruption was the widespread use of fake educational certificates to secure government jobs. This era saw a grand festival of deceit, where individuals leveraged falsified credentials to climb the ranks within public institutions. Among these individuals was Al Mamun, whose journey from a police constable to an Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) and later to a politician, epitomizes the deeply rooted corruption that plagued the system.

Al Mamun’s entry into the police force on July 13, 2003, marked the beginning of a career built on fraudulent foundations. He joined as a police constable in Chapainawabganj by presenting a fake certificate that claimed he had passed the 2001 Secondary Examination in the Humanities section under the Rajshahi Board of Education from Mahisalbari Al Islah Islami Academy, Godagari. However, a subsequent investigation revealed that no such record existed. On May 19, Rajshahi Education Board’s Examination Controller Professor Ariful Islam and Information Officer SM Golam Azam confirmed that there was no record of Mamun participating in or passing the examination.

Despite his fraudulent beginnings, Mamun thrived within the police department. He was promoted to ASI in 2017 after working in various districts, including a notable stint at the Khulna police line. Mamun even served in a United Nations mission in Sudan during his career. However, his service records and activities suggest a different reality.

Mamun’s influence extended far beyond his official duties as a police officer. For over a decade, he operated as a de facto power broker within the police force, particularly in his locality, Shibganj. Locals often saw him acting as the bodyguard and personal assistant to an influential senior police officer, regularly intervening in local political and administrative matters, especially those involving the police. He was frequently seen moving around Shibganj with a police sticker on his motorcycle, projecting an image of authority and power.

Multiple sources within the police indicated that Mamun never actually worked at the outposts to which he was officially posted. Instead, he remained close to the senior officer, manipulating police postings and transfers across the Dhaka range. This shadowy role allowed him to build significant influence and wealth, often through illicit means.

Mamun’s wealth accumulation during his service is another contentious aspect of his story. Despite his claims of modest earnings, investigations revealed substantial properties and assets. He owns a house worth several crores in the Baharampur area of Rajshahi, a large plot of land, gardens, and a coal and stone yard in the Sonamsjid port area. His declared income of 12 lakh taka per year and a loan of 29 lakhs from Uttara Bank appear significantly understated given his actual assets.

In recent years, Mamun transitioned into politics, aligning himself with the Awami League, despite his father, Mofiz Uddin, being the BNP President of Shyampur UP Ward 8. In the Shibganj upazila election held on May 21, he contested for the Vice-Chairman position under the Tia Pakhi symbol but was defeated. During the election, allegations surfaced regarding his fake SSC certificate, but the Returning Officer took no action.

In 2020, Mamun voluntarily retired from the police force, citing mental illness as the reason for his inability to continue serving. This retirement came with all the financial benefits due to him, despite the fraudulent basis of his employment. Post-retirement, he has continued to wield significant influence in police matters and local politics, leveraging his wealth and connections.

Al Mamun’s case is not an isolated incident. Similar stories have emerged across various government departments in Bangladesh. For instance, Tanveer Ahmed, a motor vehicle inspector at the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), also forged his educational certificates to secure his position and served for 17 years before being exposed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). Such cases indicate a broader systemic issue that predates the current government, tracing back to the periods of the BNP and the then-caretaker government.

During the BNP’s tenure, obtaining government jobs with fake certificates became almost commonplace. Experts suggest that many government employees who secured their jobs with fake certificates have been in service for more than 17 years. The unchecked corruption and nepotism during these periods have allowed such fraudulent activities to flourish, creating a legacy of unqualified and corrupt individuals within public institutions.

To address these systemic issues, comprehensive investigations and stringent actions are necessary. The government must identify and prosecute those who obtained jobs through fraudulent means, ensuring that only qualified individuals serve in public roles. This effort aligns with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s vision of a corruption-free Bangladesh and the development of Bangabandhu’s ‘Shonar Bangla.’

The current administration must undertake a thorough audit of government employees’ credentials, focusing particularly on those hired during the BNP’s tenure. This process should be transparent and involve multiple layers of verification to ensure that no stone is left unturned. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) should be empowered to act decisively against fraudulent employees, and legal measures should be taken to recover any financial benefits obtained under false pretenses.

Moreover, a robust mechanism should be established to prevent the recurrence of such fraudulent activities. This could include stricter verification processes during hiring, regular audits of employee credentials, and severe penalties for those found guilty of forgery. Public awareness campaigns can also play a crucial role in discouraging the use of fake certificates and promoting the importance of merit-based employment.

Al Mamun’s story serves as a stark reminder of the pervasive corruption that undermines public trust and the integrity of institutions. It is a call to action for systemic reforms and accountability to build a transparent and merit-based public service sector. Only through such measures can Bangladesh hope to achieve true progress and development. The legacy of the BNP’s tenure must be addressed head-on, with a commitment to rooting out corruption and ensuring that the nation’s public institutions are staffed by individuals of integrity and competence. This is the only path towards realizing the vision of a prosperous, corruption-free Bangladesh.


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