Colossal Hefazat fund anomalies found

Enormous irregularities have been detected in the financial transactions of at least two dozens of leaders of radical Islamist organization Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh and about three dozen of their organisations, including madrasas, said intelligence sources.

According to sources, these anomalies were found when the detectives started investigation into their irregularities and corruption.

Besides, the intelligence also launched investigation into the sources of money of the donors of the Islamist organisation, its leaders and their various institutions.

The police already have sent letters to the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) of the Bangladesh Bank, asking it about the bank accounts of those leaders and organisations.

Officials concerned said those Islamist leaders received huge funds from different sources, including those from abroad for the purpose of running their madrasas, but there is no documents to show the way the money was spent. 

The officials said, in most cases, the Islamist leaders received the money through their own accounts in different banks instead of the accounts of their institutions. Even, many of the institutions do not have any bank accounts.

The  intelligence sources said they would probe the financial transactions of  the institutions run by the Hefazat-e-Islam and many of its specific leaders.

A top ranking intelligence official said the Hefazat-controlled madrasas received a lot of grants from abroad while many individuals inside the country donate a lot of funds openly and secretly. But, there is no accountability for this money in the madrasas.

Md  Asaduzzaman,  Deputy Commissioner of the Detective Branch (DB), said a large portion of the madrasa-based grants are in most cases embezzled by the Hefazat leaders while the money spent on the purpose of sabotage and violence comes from madrasas and Hifazat leaders.

“We are investigating about those people who donate money to these madrasas and radical leaders. We've got many names”, he said.

Additional Commissioner of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), AKM Hafiz Akter, who is the chief of the DB, said a stringent investigation into the financial transactions of many Hefazat leaders and madrasas was underway. More than three hundred such donors have also been detected.