Advertisement

U.S. blacklists retired Bangladeshi general for 'significant corruption'

The United States on Monday sanctioned retired Bangladeshi Gen. Aziz Ahmed. Photo courtesy of Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of Bangladesh to the United Nations/Release
The United States on Monday sanctioned retired Bangladeshi Gen. Aziz Ahmed. Photo courtesy of Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of Bangladesh to the United Nations/Release

May 21 (UPI) -- The Biden administration has sanctioned a retired Bangladeshi general on accusations of "significant corruption."

The State Department on Monday leveled the sanctions at retired Gen. Aziz Ahmed, making him and his immediate family ineligible for entry to the United States.

Advertisement

In a statement, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said Ahmed's actions "have contributed to the undermining of Bangladesh's democratic institutions and the public's faith in public institutions and processes."

Ahmed served as chief of army staff in the Bangladeshi military from 2018 until he retired in 2021.

In February that same year, Al Jazeera produced an hour-long documentary titled All the Prime Minister's Men accusing Ahmed of being part of a "crime family at the center of power." The Bangladeshi foreign ministry rejected the documentary at the time in a statement as a politically motivated "smear campaign."

Ahmed has several brothers, three of whom were convicted in the 1996 murder of a political rival in 1996, though two fled justice.

The Al Jazeera documentary accused Ahmed of protecting his brothers. Of the three brothers convicted, one was imprisoned and sentenced to death but received a political pardon in 2018, before Ahmed was named chief of army staff.

Advertisement

The other two brothers fled abroad, one to Hungary and the other to Malaysia, the documentary alleges, accusing Ahmed of aiding one of them by falsifying documents in order to establish a business in the European country under a false identity.

The documentary further accuses the Ahmeds of selling positions in the nation's police forces, a scheme that allegedly involved senior officers and government officials receiving kickbacks.

Miller in his statement Monday stated Ahmed engaged in "significant corruption" by interfering in public processes to help a unnamed brother evade criminal activity.

He also said Ahmed and at least one of his brothers worked to "ensure the improper awarding of military contracts and accepted bribes in exchange for government appointments for his personal benefit."

"This designation reaffirms the U.S. commitment to strengthening democratic institutions and rule of law in Bangladesh," Miller said.

"The United States supports anticorruption efforts in Bangladesh through assistance to make government services more transparent and affordable, improve the business and regulatory environment, and build capacity in investigating and prosecuting money laundering and other financial crimes."

Latest Headlines