Nasir Uddin, an upper division assistant (UDA) in the Ministry of Education, lives in a 1,000 square feet luxurious apartment with his family in Khilkhet’s Lake City Concord in Dhaka.
Nasir was sent to jail on Tuesday in a case filed over several corruption allegations.
His neighbours revealed that Nasir has another apartment in the same area, which he has rented out.
Nasir also owns four shops, and a boutique in the Lake City Shopping Complex.
According to sources, Nasir Uddin bought two apartments with an estimated price of Tk50 lakh in Lake City Concord, back in 2007. The current value of these two properties stands at Tk1 crore.
He also bought a used private car for Tk5 lakh in 2012.
A neighbour said: “Nasir bought 12 to 16 acres (30 to 40 Bigha) of land in his native home in Kushtia. He told us that he paid around Tk60 to 70 lakh for the property.”
On condition of anonymity, several other neighbours said the government employee owns five shops on the third floor of Lake City Shopping Complex. The shop numbers are– 335, 340, 342, 346 and 384.
Two of them are clothing shops, two are tailoring shops, and the fifth one is a boutique.
Owners and employees of others shops at the mall confirmed that these businesses have been operating since the last year, and Nasir invested at least Tk15 lakh in these businesses.
At least 20 employees work in these shops and their salaries range between Tk8,000 to Tk20,000.
An employee of one of Nasir’s shops, on condition of anonymity, said: “Nasir Hossain is our MD [managing director].
“I heard that he has been missing for the past three days. It is hard to believe that a person like him can disappear without a trace.”
Upon further investigation at the shopping complex reception, the correspondent found that electric bill and service charges for the five shops are being paid by Nasir Uddin, and the businesses are managed by Nasir’s father-in-law.
According to the sources from the Education Ministry, UDA Nasir Uddin gets paid a total of Tk15,280 per month as salary and allowance.
As per the Government Servants (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1985, first class and second class government officials cannot own business organizations. However, third and four class employees can own businesses, after securing permission from the department
Insiders at the ministry could not confirm whether Nasir Uddin, a third class government employee, had obtained permission to own and operate businesses.
Ministry sources stated that Nasir Hossain was appointed as an office assistant in one of the projects of the Education Ministry in 2005. He was later appointed as an office assistant at the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE).
There were allegations of blackmail and extortion against Nasir during his tenure at the DSHE.
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He was transferred from DSHE to Akbar Ali Khan College in Sirajganj over charges of irregularities. However, he reportedly paid a huge bribe to get transferred to the Education Ministry.
There are allegations that a former assistant personal secretary (APS) of the education minister helped Nasir with the matter. Nasir reportedly became more reckless after joining the ministry.
Insiders claimed that Nasir refused to accept any file or document unless he was bribed. He spent less time on his desk, and more on lobbying in different ministries for people who bribed him.
He became a millionaire within just a few years.
Executive Director of the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), Dr Iftekharuzzaman said: “As he is a government official, the wealth he accumulated must be thoroughly investigated. The ministry must carry out its own probe into the matter.
“Those who are involved in corruption, never works alone. Action must be taken against those who collaborates with corrupt officials.”
In 2017, the High Court ordered the shutdown of the Lakehead School in Dhaka over charges of involvement in militancy.
Insiders claim that Education Ministry UDA Nasir Hossain and education minister’s Personal Officer (PO) Motaleb Hossain made an under the table deal of Tk4.3 lakh with the school’s managing director Khalek Hossain Matin to keep the institution running.
As part of the deal, which was made on December 16, Motaleb and Nasir tried to collect Tk1.3 lakh on January 21 from Banani as an instalment for the offered bribe.
Detective Branch (DB) of police caught the duo red handed, and their carefully hidden illegal acts began to come under media spotlight.
The Education Ministry recently decided to hand down temporary suspension to Md Motaleb Hossain and Nasir Hossain.
Addressing the matter on Tuesday, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said: “Motaleb and others who were arrested have been suspended. The ministry will take final decision about them after court order.”
This article was first published on banglatribune.com