Scandal of Motiur Rahman and his family’s hidden wealth through corruption

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NBR, National Board of Revenue, Bangladesh

Recent revelations about the wealth and lifestyle of Motiur Rahman, a senior higher official of Bangladesh’s National Board of Revenue (NBR), and his family have captivated public attention and sparked widespread debate. The story began with the extravagant purchases made by his son, Musfequr Rahman Ifat, and has since evolved to reveal a vast network of potentially illicit financial activities involving Motiur Rahman and his daughter, Farzana Rahman Ipsita. This article delves deeper into these revelations, examining the intricate details and broader implications for corruption and financial misconduct in Bangladesh.

The controversy surrounding Matiur Rahman began with his son, Musfequr Rahman Ifat, who came into the spotlight for his ostentatious spending. Ifat made headlines when he bought a sacrificial goat worth 1.5 million taka (approximately $17,500), an expenditure that immediately drew public ire and curiosity about the sources of his wealth. Further investigations revealed that Ifat had also purchased several high-priced cows, with the total expenditure amounting to 70 lakh taka (around $82,000). This display of wealth was part of a pattern of lavish spending that included luxurious cars and high-end electronics.

Initially, Motiur Rahman attempted to distance himself from Ifat, claiming that Ifat was not his son. However, this denial was soon contradicted by multiple sources, including statements from Nizam Uddin Hazari, a Member of Parliament, who confirmed Ifat’s relationship to Matiur Rahman. This inconsistency in Motiur’s statements only added to public suspicion and led to further scrutiny of his family’s finances.

As attention shifted towards Motiur Rahman’s family, investigators turned their focus to his daughter, Farzana Rahman Ipsita. Ipsita, who migrated to Canada in 2018 and works as a makeup artist, has been leading a life of luxury. Her social media profiles are replete with images of expensive cars and other signs of affluence. The investigation revealed that Ipsita, along with her husband, Mohammad Nashrat Faysal, purchased a triplex house in Barrie, Ontario, for 888,000 Canadian dollars (CAD) on January 12, 2023. Including registration and land transfer fees, the total cost exceeded 90 million Bangladeshi taka (approximately $ 767,000).

This discovery raised significant questions about the sources of the funds used for this purchase. Ipsita’s Canadian property, located at 117 Monarch Street, Barrie, is a modern triplex equipped with luxurious amenities, including a swimming pool, a long lawn, and a separate parking facility. Despite owning this house, Ipsita and her husband primarily reside in Ontario and rent out the Barrie property. Sources suggest that Ipsita may own additional properties in Canada, though these claims have yet to be verified.

Further complicating the matter is Ipsita’s involvement in multiple businesses in Bangladesh. She co-owns SK Trims & Industries Limited, Global Max Packaging Industries, and Gazipur’s Global Su and Global Max Packaging Company with her brother, Taufikur Rahman Arnab. These business interests add another layer of complexity to the investigation into the family’s wealth.

The lavish lifestyles of Ifat and Ipsita prompted deeper investigations into Motiur Rahman’s financial activities. Reports indicate that Motiur has accumulated substantial wealth through corrupt practices, including real estate, vehicles, resorts, and business establishments worth thousands million of taka. Despite repeated allegations and complaints, Motiur Rahman received four ‘clean certificates’ from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), absolving him of any wrongdoing. These certificates were issued despite significant evidence and public suspicion of his illicit activities. According to a report, the ACC conducted inquiries against Motiur four times-in 2004, 2008, 2013, and 2021 – but each inquiry ended with him being given a clean chit.

AX Abid, in a Facebook post on Wednesday, June 19, claimed that Ifat, an American expatriate industrialist, had purchased a goat for his uncle. Abid emphasized that Ifat’s father has been out of contact for three years. He praised Ifat’s achievements in bird breeding and mentioned his affluent maternal uncles, stating that one lives in Dubai and the other in America. Abid stressed that Ifat’s hobbies are funded by his wealthy uncles and clarified that Ifat’s father has been absent from his life for three years. Notably, this post was later hidden but was found as a copy-paste share on Abid’s timeline.

However, investigations into Abid’s post revealed that Abid, Ifat’s mother Shibli Begum’s cousin, was accused of murdering Fulgazi Upazila Chairman Ekramul Haque Ekram and later fled to the UAE after being released on bail. Locals from Sonagazi upazila of Feni, where Ifat’s maternal grandfather lives, asserted that none of Ifat’s uncles live in America or Dubai. Ifat’s father, Motiur Rahman, an NBR officer, has two marriages. His first wife, Laila Kaniz Lucky, is the Chairman of Raipura Upazila Parishad of Narsingdi, with whom he has two children. Ifat, the son from his second wife Shammi Akhter Shibly, resides in Dhanmondi. Despite claiming no connection to Ifat, Motiur Rahman’s cousin, MP Nizam Uddin Hazari, confirmed Ifat’s parentage.

Ifat recently bought livestock worth BDT 7.00 million from various farms in Dhaka for Eid-ul-Adha. Last year, he spent BDT 6 million on animals. Despite paying an advance of BDT one hundred thousand to Sadiq Agro for a goat, he ultimately did not complete the purchase. The goat remains unsold at the farm. Following the viral controversy, revenue officer Motiur Rahman denied any association with Ifat. Nonetheless, MP Nizam Uddin Hazari affirmed Ifat’s identity and parentage.

Ifat resides on the fifth floor of Imperial Sultana Bhavan in Dhanmondi. He left home on Tuesday and has not returned since.

The ACC’s failure to act decisively against Motiur Rahman highlights systemic issues within the organization. Sources within the ACC have suggested that Motiur’s ability to evade scrutiny may be due to his influential connections and lobbying efforts. Despite these obstacles, a new complaint was filed against Motiur Rahman in early June 2023, prompting the ACC to form a team to investigate his assets. The outcome of this investigation could have significant implications for the fight against corruption in Bangladesh.

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has been vocal about the need for accountability in cases of financial misconduct. Dr. Iftekharuzzaman, the Executive Director of TIB, stated that the money used by Ipsita to purchase her Canadian property likely did not go through proper legal channels, suggesting money laundering. He urged the Bangladeshi government to take decisive steps to recover the laundered money and enforce laws that include the confiscation of illegally obtained funds, triple fines, and up to 14 years of imprisonment for those involved in money laundering.

Dr. Iftekharuzzaman’s statements underscore the importance of international cooperation in tracing and recovering illicitly transferred funds. The involvement of Canadian authorities and the transparency of property records in Canada have been crucial in uncovering Ipsita’s real estate transactions. This case highlights the need for robust international legal frameworks to combat money laundering and financial crimes effectively.

The case of Motiur Rahman and his family’s wealth has broader implications for Bangladesh’s efforts to combat corruption. It highlights the challenges faced by regulatory bodies like the ACC in holding powerful individuals accountable. The issuance of ‘clean certificates’ despite significant evidence of corruption points to systemic issues within the ACC and other oversight institutions. It also underscores the need for stronger international cooperation in tracing and recovering illicitly transferred funds.

The public reaction to these revelations has been one of outrage and demand for accountability. The scandal has sparked widespread criticism of the ACC and other regulatory bodies for their perceived ineffectiveness in addressing high-profile corruption cases. It has also raised questions about the integrity of the NBR and other government institutions.

The unfolding scandal involving Motiur Rahman and his family’s wealth is a stark reminder of the pervasive corruption that can infiltrate even the highest levels of government. The extravagant lifestyles and significant assets accumulated by Motiur’s children, Ifat and Ipsita, have exposed a web of financial misconduct that demands thorough investigation and accountability. The role of institutions like the ACC and the need for international cooperation are crucial in addressing such cases of corruption.

As public scrutiny intensifies and more details emerge, it is imperative that the Bangladeshi government takes decisive action to investigate and prosecute those involved in corruption. The recovery of illicitly obtained wealth and the enforcement of strict penalties for financial crimes are essential steps in restoring public trust and ensuring the integrity of public institutions. Only through transparency, accountability, and robust enforcement of anti-corruption laws can Bangladesh effectively combat corruption and promote a culture of integrity and ethical governance.

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33 COMMENTS

  1. This Motiur Rahman has been well-known within government officials as the most corrupt person who has been maintaining connections with people in the higher places for decades. He was a regular visitor at Hawa Bhaban and was paying Tarique Rahman and his gang. He also was paying bribe to family members of BNP finance minister Saifur Rahman. With his direct help, Hawa Bhaban men brought counterfeit Benson & Hedges cigarette in Bangladesh and made hundreds of millions of dollars.

  2. Please don’t waste your energy on this topic. Motiur Rahman is extremely influential with connections inside every political party, including Awami League. He will eventually manage everyone.

  3. Will he face legal actions? Possibly not. Because government does not want the cancer of corruption to be exposed.

  4. Why you journalists are unnecessarily writing fake stories against Mr. Motiur Rahman? You should check his background. Mr. Rahman hails from a very wealthy family. The property and cash what yellow journalists are branding as “result of corruption” is in fact inherited by him from his forefathers. Go to Mr. Motiur Rahman’s village and ask anyone, what type of person he is. Everyone will tell you, he is a man with heart of gold.

  5. Motiur Rahman’s corruption is well-known to all. Nothing can possibly stop him. By spending a large sum of cash, he will return to even higher position.

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