For a 20-year-old making tens of millions of taka is quite difficult, if not impossible. Prodigies far younger of rare qualities in the Western world at times make news for such feats. But in question here is no such achievement by an extraordinarily talented boy, but by a young fraudster who has been engaged in conning for accumulating unearned money from age 14. When the country was reeling from the impact of the pandemic, this impostor started presenting him as an official from the Canadian consulate and duped many people in paying for charitable programmes. He has been using, to his advantage depending on chances, several other fake identities supported by facsimile documents to support his false claims in order to defraud people. Finally, though, he was arrested by the law enforcement agency when his facebook identity as general secretary of a Gulshan-based association came to the notice of the people concerned. A complaint against him led to his arrest.
Another young man in his 20's, reportedly used pictures of ministers, deputy ministers and secretary of the education ministry for making illegal money. He claimed he could change examination results in exchange for money. This young fraud has also been nabbed and put behind the bar. Young people not only in this country but all across the world are showing an increasing tendency to become rich as fast as they can. A 23-year-old wicked genius from Mumbai made an illegal fortune of Indian rupees of 5.0 billion in a year by just duping Americans from his three call centres until a disgruntled employee informed the police of his misdeed.
Early in the critical time of corona attack, this country watched with disbelief and awe how Shahed Karim, an impostor, of ill-famed Regent Hospital made a mockery of the healthcare service by just using tricks such as his closeness with people in power. More scandals involving allocation for hospitals from Faridpur to Rangpur came to light. But it was the rise of a driver of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), who amassed fabulous amount of wealth, that baffled the people. What is, however, ridiculous is that it ended triggering a half-hearted move that caused a few heads rolling. But the big fish were not netted to be awarded the punishments they deserved.
In fact, the Shahed Karims have long been ruling the roost. Is it not unbelievable that the casino business and similar gambling could be operated in sporting clubs for years without the knowledge of the law enforcement authorities? Now a High Court bench has asked to know if casino, gambling and money laundering were linked to each other. The busting of dens of such vices revealed sacks of legal tenders not only of Bangladesh but also of other countries. Have all such private vaults been busted?
This government reasonably effected a salary hike for the republic's officials and employees on the premise that graft would be a thing of the past. There is no sign bribery has declined at all. The latest corruption index is rather a reflection of the contrary image.
Bangladesh may have left behind share market scams but the evil geniuses and tricksters have found new avenues to build illegal fortunes. During the army-backed rule, people came to know about the imperial lifestyle some politicians and bureaucrats led and the accompanying aberrations. Has the mentality of making money quickly by dishonest means changed at all?
It seems it has not. In fact, trade syndicates and others responsible for serving the public are in a mad race to fleece the consumers and people requiring public service. They won't let slip any opportune moment to make the most of the situation. Thus rice, potato, onion and lately cooking oil has become outrageously costlier without reason. Gold smuggling and yaba trade cannot be stopped, although the latter is simply ruining the young generation.
Although belated, still the government has started a drive against corrupt elements with political links but government officials and employees are yet to be targeted with similar urgency. The moot point is to get a message across the board that no irregularities and misappropriation of public money will go unchallenged and unpunished.
Young minds have been overly influenced by the misdeeds and scandals involving people who have gone scot-free without being accountable. It is time the mentality was reversed. Common people are not fool, they know many of those people who have made money at the expense of unsuspecting ordinary mortals. The saga of corruption can continue because there is not enough loathing of dishonesty and mischievous ploys resorted to by many. Yet it must be admitted that the majority of the people in the country are innocent and can still be taken into confidence to wage a war against corruption and falsehood. With all its weaknesses, the country has made phenomenal progress. If it can come clean on corruption and treachery with the people's trust, it will be the country to be cherished forever.