Chief Engineer of the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB), Shahidul Islam, retired before the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed a case against him in connection with amassing assets beyond known income sources. He has since moved to the United States of America (USA). During a commission meeting on November 28, the approval to file a case against him and his wife was granted.
According to ACC sources, assets beyond known income sources amounting to Tk 1 crore 5 lakh 39 thousand were found in his wife Aktiara Banu's name and Tk 28 lakh 29 thousand in Shahidul's name.
Deputy Director (DD) AKM Tanvir Ahmed, the investigating officer, submitted an enquiry report recommending the filing of two cases under Section 27(1) of the ACC Act, 2004.
When contacted to learn more about the case, Deputy Director AKM Tanvir Ahmed told The Daily Messenger, “I don't have any information about the approval of the case. I also don’t know about Shahidul’s relocation to America."
The initial enquiry officer of the complaint was Deputy Assistant Director (DAD) Monirul Islam.
BWDB Director General (DG) S.M. Shahidul Islam told The Daily Messenger, “Last June, Chief Engineer Shahidul Islam of the Mechanical Equipment Department retired. He is currently residing in America." He mentioned that he is unaware of the ACC's enquiry and the approval of the case against Engineer Shahidul.
A former DG of BWDB revealed that Shahidul Islam's wife also moved to America in April this year, and other family members had relocated earlier.
According to ACC and NBR sources, Engineer Shahidul and his wife jointly owned 5.25 decimals of land and a multi-storey building in South Manipur of Mirpur, along with a 7-storey house (1950 square feet per floor) jointly owned in Mirpur 535/1. They, however, donated these properties to their daughters in 2020 to avoid liability. Additionally, Shahidul owns 15 decimals of land in Senpara of Mirpur, acquired between 2007 and 2014.
Moreover, Aktiara Banu possessed a 6.60-decimal land (house no. 827/2/5) with a 6-storey building in Senpara, West Kazipara, Mirpur, Ward No. 14 of Dhaka North City Corporation. Each floor is 2500 square feet. This building was also donated to their two daughters in 2019.
In fact, Shahidul Islam and his wife Aktiara Banu have donated their wealth to their daughters. Furthermore, the enquiry revealed the ownership of approximately 350 decimals of land in the name of Aktiara Banu in Bheramara, Kushtia.
According to ACC sources, their assets include a 2,000 square feet 7-storey house in West Kazipara of Mirpur, a 6-storey house in Manipur of Mirpur, a multi-storey building on 5.25-decimal land in South Manipur. Additionally, they own 15 decimals of land in Senpara of Mirpur and 350 decimals of land in Kushtia.
Engineer Shahidul Islam and his wife both filed income tax returns at Bheramara Circle in Khulna. According to Shahidul Islam's income tax records for the year 2019-2020, his total annual income is Tk 17 lakh 59 thousand 828. Among them, the income from house property is Tk 8 lakh 37 thousand. He paid a tax of Tk 2 lakh 25 thousand 327. In the asset description, he mentioned a seven-story house in Mirpur, a tin-shed house in three parts in Senpara in Mirpur with about 20-decimal land, and agricultural land in Kushtia, totalling assets worth Tk 77 lakh 35 thousand 965. He also mentioned loans and bank loans to his wife in the income tax return.
On the other hand, his wife's income tax return for the year 2019-2020 shows an income of Tk 15 lakh per year from house property, agriculture, and business. She paid a tax of Tk 1 lakh 86 thousand. Her assets include a 6-storey building with 4 katha land in Mirpur's Kazipara, half of a 7-storey house in Mirpur, 10 bighas of agricultural land, and 80 bhori of gold ornaments, as described in the income tax return.