Ex-Bangladesh PM Zia's bank accounts frozen | world | Hindustan Times
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Ex-Bangladesh PM Zia's bank accounts frozen

Bank accounts of former Bangladesh prime minister Khaleda Zia are to be frozen on the directions of the country's National Board of Revenue.

world Updated: Aug 31, 2007 13:10 IST

Bank accounts of former Bangladesh prime minister Khaleda Zia, her son Arafat Rahman Koko and nine relatives are to be frozen on the directions of the country's National Board of Revenue (NBR), media reports said.

Quoting unnamed sources in the law enforcement agencies, The Daily Star newspaper said the government was readying to file at least three graft cases against Zia and her family members.

The government is also preparing a case over her wealth statement. The wealth statement she submitted to the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has some gross anomalies, the sources added.

The move is identical to the Aug 2 action of a freeze on accounts of the other former prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, who is in jail since mid-June on charges of extortion.

Within a week, however, the government relented. Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam told the newspaper that if the family members badly needed money, the government might relax the NBR order.

This consideration came because Sheikh Hasina's husband, Wazed Miah, is critically ill and under medical treatment.

Besides, Hasina's lawyers had expressed concern about the continued freeze on the operations of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum, Bangabandhu Memorial Trust and Welfare Trust for Grenade Attack Victims.

These accounts belong to non-profit organisations that give out doles to political victims and fund non-political activities.

In Zia's case, the freeze was delayed as she and her family surrendered unaccounted funds and volunteered to pay tax.

The NBR curbs cover all bank accounts and deposits in the name of family members, some of whom are living abroad, including minor grandchildren of the two women leaders who ruled Bangladesh between 1991 and October last year.