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Bangla investigators grill ex-home secy

world Updated: Oct 04, 2009 13:52 IST

Bangladeshi investigators have grilled a former top Home Ministry bureaucrat as part of a fresh probe into the country's biggest weapon haul in 2004 when 10 truckloads of arms believed to be destined to ULFA hideouts in northeastern India were seized, officials and said on Sunday.

"Former Home Secretary Omar Faruque was quizzed for nearly 8 hours until yesterday evening, we may call him for further questioning along with several other senior former officers," a senior Criminal Investigation Department (CID) official said.

He said that Faruque was questioned as he was the head of a five-member high-power committee formed to investigate the matter. At least two other of its members -- former chiefs of the country's top intelligence agencies who are under detention -- were suspected to be involved in the haul.

'The Prothom Alo' newspaper quoting another official familiar with the investigation reported that the committee apparently completed its responsibility, giving only a five-page "superficial" report "visibly to help the masterminds" of the haul to evade justice.

It said Faruque told investigators that the committee "could work freely but not properly" due to "time constraint" as they were given only two-week time excluding the holidays.

The report said the committee named five people including owner of the boats used for carrying the arms, a porter leader and owner of a porter contracting firm who had little idea about the main plan of the smuggling.