General Moeen U Ahmed

Bangladesh army chief of staff General Moeen U Ahmed has denied all corruption charges labeled against him as ‘propaganda’. He said the propaganda was aimed to malign him at a time when he was taking a trip in USA and UK and was enjoying widespread support from the expatriate Bangladesh community.

General Moeen, who is currently on a trip in the US, told a Voice of America interviewer that he borrowed Tk 2.5 million($36000) and not Tk 9.9 million($141000) as alleged by the Bangladeshi bloggers who first posted their findings from Bangladesh securities and exchange commission website filings by Trustbank Bangladesh – a bank whose chairman is General Moeen and whose board of directors consists a brother of General Moeen. Iqbal Ahmed, a brother of General Moeen, was already the Managing director of Trustbank when General Moeen was appointed Chairman.

Mr. Iqbal was re-appointed as a member of the board of directors in 2006 by General Moeen and others apparently in violation of Bangladesh Central Bank’s regulation that no two members of a family can be in the board of directors of the same bank.

General Moeen, according to Trustbank‘s filings, has only 100 shares in the bank and would thus be eligible for a loan not exceeding Tk 500 ($7) as per Bangladesh Central Bank regulations – which far exceeds the Tk 2.5 million($36,000) loan he admitted in the interview with VOA. TrustBank had its IPO in Dhaka Stock Exchange recently and its shares have appreciated significantly since the IPO.
Bangladesh’s current army-backed interim government came to power last January after violence between two major political parties, BNP and the Awami League, claimed several lives in the streets of capital Dhaka and brought the country to a standstill.

The current interim government has made anti-corruption drive as its prime goal before holding general elections in the country by December 2008. It has made many high-profile arrests including that of two former prime ministers on charges of corruption.
General Moeen himself has on many occasions reiterated that the goal of the current government is to rid the country of corruption and bring the offenders to face justice.

The news of alleged corruption by General Moeen has taken many Bangladeshis by surprise and are expecting a public explanation from the General.

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