To prevent wide-spread corruption, effective investigation plays the larger role in deterring corruption and thus, investigators are needed to be sufficiently efficient and skilled with updating knowledge. To keep pace with global advancement, 30 investigators of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) of Bangladesh gathered at Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) head office on 28 December 2017 to participate in a training workshop titled Effective Investigation of Corruption. TIB organized the daylong programme to enhance capacity of ACC investigators about inquiry, investigation, analysis of information and documents especially on money laundering cases and aimed to enhance practical knowledge and skills for effectively implement prevailing anti-corruption laws.
The training programme was designed following the set of recommendations stated inan assessment of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) of Bangladeshcarried out by TIB as part of an initiative by Transparency International (TI) to engage with anti-corruption agencies in a process of conducting evidence based research to examine their performance and identify the challenges in selected jurisdictions. The assessment was conducted through a process of intense engagement with the ACC with a robust assessment tool which was developed over a period of two years in consultation with numerous experts and practitioners around the world. It was aimed at providing the ACC an objective analysis of its potentials and performance as well as opportunities for improvement. Under each dimension it also provides a set recommendations consistent with the analyses. The applied tool took into consideration such dimensions of assessment as legal independence of the ACA, financial and human resources, investigative capacity, prevention, education and outreach functions, cooperation with other related organisations, ACA’s accountability and oversight and finally the level of public trust.
In the opening of the programme, TIB stressed on updating best practices, knowledge and techniques by the investigators in countering corruption. Justice Md. Azizul Haque, reputed former Judge of High Court Division of Bangladesh highlighted various legal interpretations of the existing anti-corruption laws that have created enabling environment for the investigators to pursue vigorously in bringing the accused to justice. Justice Aziz further engaged in an open discussion with the participants. Followed by the lecture, the participants divided into three different groups and engaged in group discussion on certain topics i.e. legal weaknesses in inquiry and investigation, analysis of information and documents and interrogation techniques, external factors affecting inquiry, investigation and charge sheet processes; came out with observations on the issues which were presented through the group presentation.
The training programme consisted of subjects such as legal weaknesses in inquiry and investigation, analysis of information and documents and interrogation techniques, external factors affecting inquiry, investigation and charge sheet processes, illicit financial flows, trade mis-invoicing, anonymous companies etc.
In the afternoon session, Mr. Kamal Hossain, Joint Director, Bangladesh Financial Unit (BFIU), Bangladesh Bank discussed on Inquiry and Investigation on money-laundering cases. The participants then engaged in a group discussion on illicit financial flows, trade mis-invoicing, track and prevent transaction of anonymous companies etc.
During the group discussions, participants examined number of closed corruption case studies. Based on the cases, they reviewed the entire process of investigating from receiving allegations, implementing an effective investigative strategy and obtaining evidence abroad to concluding the investigation and delivering results.
In the concluding session, Professor Dr. Sumaiya Khair, Adviser-Executive Management, TIB said, effective investigation of corruption is must to prevent corruption where investigators play meaningful role. Terming the training as an initial effort by TIB to strengthen anti-corruption capabilities of ACC, Dr. Khair expressed her hope that the training would help the ACC investigators doing better in their profession and wished to continue such efforts for the investigators of ACC in future. After the short speech, Professor Khair handed away the certificates among the trainees.