The Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) has asked banks to provide the account details of Dhaka Wasa Managing Director (MD), Engineer Taqsem Khan, and his family members, said sources at the BFIU.
The BFIU – the central agency to fight against money laundering, terrorist financing and financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction – asked banks to submit the documents within five working days, reads a letter issued by the BFIU to banks on Wednesday.
Earlier on 17 August, the High Court ordered Wasa authorities to submit a report stating how much money the Dhaka Wasa MD had taken in the last 13 years as salary, bonus, and other benefits. The Dhaka Wasa board chairman has to submit the pay report to the court within 60 days.
Last month, Architect Mubasshar Hussain, on behalf of the Consumer Association of Bangladesh, filed a writ petition challenging the legality of providing an unreasonably high salary to the Wasa MD.
Taqsem was first appointed to the post of Wasa MD in 2009. Despite controversies and criticism, his tenure has been extended six times. At present, he receives Tk6.25 lakh per month as salary and allowances. There have been allegations of not maintaining policies properly in extending his tenure.
There are many other complaints against him, including increasing project costs, syndication in the appointment of contractors, bribery, appointing his favourite people by creating posts, etc. He also imposed certain conditions for the selection of consultants and contractors for projects so that only a certain number of contractors can participate in the competition.
According to an Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) report, Wasa projects are not completed on time. In many cases, the work is not done according to the design and specification of the project. There is widespread corruption in the installation of privately owned deep tube wells, metre reading, and revenue collection.
Apart from this, using political identification and taking bribes in exchange for work has become a common practice in the selection of contractors.
Also, more than Tk132 crore of the Dhaka Wasa Employees Multipurpose Cooperative Society was embezzled from six banks with the direct help and instruction of Wasa MD Taqsem A Khan, which was revealed in an Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) audit in 2018-2020.