Mosharraf HossainFormer Bridges Division secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan speaks slowly, smiles pleasantly and can avoid chaos of journalists by delivering his claims smartly — the common gestures of his boss Syed Abul Hossain.

Yes, he has done these things very ‘smartly’ since September, 2011 when the WB gave a report on the project’s ‘corruption’ — a very sensitive term in politics, especially when a party is in power.

Well, the former bureaucrat went into hiding as soon as the ACC filed a case against them with evidence of corruption conspiracy.

And, he was arrested finally on Wednesday by detectives from a vehicle with another accused Ferdous at Shahbagh.

And, ironically enough, he was taken to the ACC for questioning, probably second time to testify on the corruption allegation.

He was handcuffed!!!

This man in June this year said: i’m sure the WB won’t be able to present any evidence; the WB didn’t consult me before raising allegations; i hope nothing wrong would emerge from the ACC probe.

After being quizzed by the ACC on August 8, he said: a vested quarter is conspiring against the Padma Bridge project; some inefficient officials of the WB’s integrity department are creating confusion by raising allegations; there’s an allegation against me, a fair probe is underway; i’m not worried at all; there was nothing wrong with the project; i worked hard.

Aha! Then why did you flee Mr Mosharraf? You’re supposed to be a ‘holy man’!

Your boss has escaped, for now; and other bigwigs too. I feel so pity (;P) for you, your lords, and family members.

Is it corruption? What is corruption?

This question has become a crucial one these days after the revealation of Padma Bridge “corruption conspiracy” by a Canadian media in August last year on a raid in SNC Lavalin office over bribing for the bridge project upon a call from the World Bank, the lead financier of the country’s largest bridge. Soon the World Bank came up with a report on the matter.

But the government has ever since denied the allegation saying “no transaction, no corruption”, “it’s a conspiracy by vested quarters eg Dr Yunus”, “Abul is a patriot”, “WB itself is corrupt” while the three top suspects — PM’s advisor Mashiur Rahman, minister Syed Abul Hossain and secretary Mosharraf Hossain — have been claiming themelves “as clean as holy”.

Meanwhile, the WB submitted the second report in April and asked the govt to take action against the accused — at least 10 people. But the govt kept denying and dodging taking up punitive measures until the last week of June this year when the WB cancelled the loan agreement with Bangladesh.

The immediate reaction was not praiseworthy — Muhith said it was the outgoing chief’s personal decision, Hasina slammed the WB in parliament citing their ill-motivated prescriptions added with loan as conditions. She also declared that the bridge would be built by own funds — from budget and people — or Malaysian money, whatever, anyhow.

She, however, changed her minds few months later, but didn’t explain why!

In the meantime, Muhith and PM’s advisor Gowher Rizvi were discussing the matter with the WB and other financiers — JICA, ADB, IDB — to revive the loan agreement and were bargaining over the ‘punitive action’ issue.

However, the accused were still claiming that they were clean and everyone claimed there were “no corruption” in the project since there was no transaction made and the ACC said there was no tangible evidence provided by the WB — a view the anti-graft body ACC made in February declaring Abul “clean“. The toothlees ACC has showed its “efforts against corruption” by asking over 30 suspects warmly to appear at its office for some chitchats and for giving them a chance for defending themselves.

But the commission couldn’t be stricter due to pressure, I understand, but I wonder, the chairman, Ghulam Rahman, hasn’t resigned yet. The dubious role of the govt high-ups has harmed the compromise process maintained by the finance minister initiated just after the annulment of the agreement that hit the ruling party badly only to worsen its image at home and abroad.

So the AL has always tried to establish the “conspiracy theory“.

Even on Wednesday, Muhith said there was “no corruption in the project” and so the two former ministers — Syed Abul and Abul Hossain Chowdhury — were not implicated in the case filed by the ACC a couple of days ago against 7 persons including Mosharraf and 2 foreigners.

Muhith said it was not “corruption” because the ministers just held talks with the Lavalin agents and it couldn’t be labelled as “corruption in Bangladesh”!

The same day, PM said there have been conspiracy against the govt to malign its successes through some acts!

Well! What’s “corruption“, btw?

The ACC on Thursday said justice would be ensured in their investigation and the trial, and that the location of the 7 officials must be identified as they have gone into hiding through the Interpol.

The two ministers are under watch as their names are mentioned in the case as “suspects in a corruprion conspiracy”. How funny! What a shameless government that pledged to go tough against any corruption allegation.

Btw, where’s the advisor? Oh, he’s on leave. The ACC couldn’t prove his “direct link” with the “conspiracy”.

Will the WB be happy with this much? How about Syed Abul’s SAHCO Enterprise officials?

NOTE: Speaker Abdul Hamid on Wednesday said the country could build one Padma Bridge every year with the “graft money”!!!