By Mizan Rahman/Dhaka
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s son Sajeeb Wazed Joy has called Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson and former prime minister Khaleda Zia a liar and thief, and asked her not to malign Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s grandson.
Joy, also the prime minister’s ICT affairs adviser, through a status on his Facebook page has also asked Khaleda to inform him about the details of the 25bn taka ($300mn) she claimed to have kept in his account in the USA as per a case document, saying he wants to donate the money to orphans.
Joy’s reaction came a day after Khaleda asked about the source of 25bn taka in his account mentioned in the document of a case filed in connection with a plot to abduct and kill him in the US.
“A woman who has stolen money from orphans, one whose son is a fugitive accused by the FBI for corruption, really should not be throwing mud at Bangabandhu’s grandson. Madam, if you know where the $300mn is, please let me know. I would like to donate it to orphans,” Joy said.
Describing two journalists Mahumudur Rahman and Shafiq Rahman as her henchmen, Joy said the duo stole secret FBI documents listing all his bank accounts but could not find it.
“The military regime of 1/11 who arrested my mother could not find it. Even the FBI could not find it. That’s because I have never had anything close to $300mn. I am not that rich.”
“Khaleda Zia, on the other hand, is a liar and a thief,” he added.
On Saturday, Khaleda at a programme alleged that the government had arrested journalist Shafik Rehman to hush up the issue of 25bn taka in Joy’s bank account. “What’s the source of the money? The country’s people want to know what amount of money they have in this way,” she asked.
On Sunday, addressing a workers’ rally at Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital, the BNP chief said Shafik Rehman was arrested and put on remand as he collected some information about Sajeeb Wazed Joy’s involvement in siphoning off 25bn taka.
Khaleda also demanded the government either release Shafik Rehman and Mahmudur Rahman or arrest Joy and grill him over the laundered 25bn taka.
The BNP chief alleged the Awami League government has secretly moved abroad 300bn taka in the past seven years.
“They are splitting the money from big projects launched in the name of development, and smuggling it abroad,” Khaleda Zia told the rally.
She claimed the ruling party is now lobbying so that names of its leaders do not come up in the Panama Papers.
Revelations by the Panama Papers last month had sparked global scrutiny of offshore banking and hiding of wealth. But names of any Bangladeshis are yet to appear in the leaked data.
“They keep harping on development. But what development has they brought about? They steal more than the developmental work they do,” Khaleda said.
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