ARREST OF 3 CANADIANS IN PADMA CASE
ACC may seek Interpol helpAhammad Foyez
The Anti-Corruption Commission is actively considering the idea to seek Interpol assistance in arresting three Canadians accused in the Padma Bridge graft case, according to an ACC official.
‘The commission is now considering three options – seeking help of the Interpol or the United Nations, or we may ask the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to nab the accused under the mutual legal assistance request,’ an investigation officer of the anti-graft body told New Age.
The accused are – director of international projects at Canadian construction firm SNC-Lavalin Mohammed Ismail, former vice-presidents of SNC-Lavalin Ramesh Shah and Kevin Wallace.
When asked for comments, the ACC commissioner M Bodiuzzaman said that the commission
wanted to interrogate those three SNC-Lavalin officials at any process.
‘The investigation team will write to the Canadian government [over the matter],’ he said.
The official noted that both Bangladesh and Canada were members of the United Nations Convention against Corruption.
As per condition of UNCAC, all member countries may take the help of the United Nation to anti-graft move, he said.
According to the UNCAC, member countries agreed to cooperate with one another in every aspect of fight against corruption, including prevention, investigation, and the prosecution of offenders. The countries are bound by the convention to render specific forms of mutual legal assistance in gathering and transferring evidence for use in court and to extradite offenders. They are also required to undertake measures which will support the tracing, freezing, seizure and confiscation of the proceeds of corruption.
About the third option, the official said the Royal Canadian Mounted Police would not help immediately as the accused were under trial there.
Two former executives at SNC, which had bid for supervising the contractor for the project, appeared in a Toronto court in July, accused of bribing officials in Bangladesh. Ramesh Shah and Mohammed Ismail were arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in February following a 2011 raid on SNC’s office in Oakville, outside Toronto. They were bailed out by a Canadian court.
Kevin Wallace, previously a project manager at SNC overseeing mining and industry projects, resigned from the Montreal-based company in early December.
On December 17, the ACC filed a case against seven people excluding former communications minister Syed Abul Hossain and former state minister for foreign affairs Abul Hasan Chowdhury from its list of the accused in the case of ‘corruption conspiracy’ in the Padma Bridge project.
The other accused in the case are – former Bridge Division secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, now in jail, Bangladesh Bridge Authority superintendent engineer Kazi Mohammad Ferdous, now in jail, Roads and Highways executive engineer Riaz Ahmad Jaber and Engineering Planners Consultant Ltd deputy managing director Mohammad Mostafa.
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