Former Bangladesh PM’s son charged with tax evasion

April 1st, 2008 - 9:33 pm ICT by admin  

Dhaka, April 1 (DPA) Tarique Rahman, elder son and political heir to former Bangladesh prime minister Khaleda Zia, faced charges of concealing assets worth millions of dollars by submitting a false statement to the Anti-Corruption Commission, officials said Tuesday. Rahman, 43, was indicted by a district court in Dhaka for amassing assets including expensive apartments, luxurious farmhouses and holiday retreats for the rich which did not tally with his known sources of incomes, anti-corruption officer Towfiqul Islam said.

Rahman’s wife Zobaida, a doctor, and his mother-in-law Iqbalmand Bano, were co-accused in the corruption case for allegedly concealing information in their tax returns.

Islam said the trio together had assets worth $6 million, according to their declarations. But the anti-corruption watchdog had unearthed additional properties, which were twice the value of the revealed assets.

Tax enforcement officials said Rahman was likely to stand trial by next week nearly 13 months after his arrest on charges of corruption and abuse of power.

Rahman’s younger brother Arafat also faces a dozen cases of extortion listed in a charge sheet filed against him Monday.

More than a score of former ministers, leading businessmen and top bureaucrats in Zia’s outgoing government have been detained following a crackdown on grafts by the military backed caretaker administration.

Zia stepped down in October 2006 at the end of a five-year term amid escalating political turmoil over a standoff with her archrival and another former premier Sheikh Hasina.

President Iajuddin Ahmad appointed an interim government with the support of the military to steer the country to democracy by holding a general election by end of the year.

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