Bangladesh unveils toilet scam

October 21, 2008 12:00 am

, DHAKA, October 21 – Bangladesh’s anti-corruption watchdog has uncovered hundreds of non-existent labourers working for a government department, including a case of 122 men paid for fixing a toilet pan.

The Anti-Corruption Commission said hundreds of labourers had also been paid to maintain septic tanks, which appeared not to have been cleaned for years, the English language newspaper The Daily Star reported Tuesday.

"Only two labourers cleaned nearby weeds for two days, while no electric repair was done, investigations reveal," the paper said.

The commission, an independent corruption monitor, investigated the books at nine offices of the state-owned Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd in Khulna, covering the period from the 2000-2001 financial year to 2007-2008.

It said it had uncovered 337 million taka (4.9 million dollars) of misappropriated funds.

The watchdog said most of this had been spent on fake labourers and only 15 to 25 percent of the work billed for had been carried out.

Last month global watchdog Transparency International ranked Bangladesh as the 10th most corrupt in the world.

Between 2001 and 2005, the South Asian nation of 144 million people was ranked the world’s most corrupt.


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