Bangladesh Scraps Chinese Firm’s Road Project on Graft Charges
The Chinese firm has also undertaken construction projects for Pakistan’s Gwadar Port & Sri Lanka’s Hanbatota Port.
The project of building the Dhaka Sylhet highway given to a major Chinese firm has been scrapped by the Bangladesh on charges that the firm bribed government officials, according to an ANI report.
The report quoted Bangladeshi Finance Minister AMA Muhith from an interview given to The Daily Star saying "China Harbor Engineering Co Ltd (CHEC) has been blacklisted by the government of Bangladesh for bribing government officials and will not be allowed to participate in any future construction projects in Bangladesh."
The company has undertaken construction projects for Pakistan’s Gwadar Port and Sri Lanka’s Hanbatota Port.
The report further quoted the finance minister saying that the company was found bribing newly-appointed director of the Bangladesh Highway Transport and Bridges Department for the purpose of diverting project funds and also offered 5 million taka to Muhith.
It was further reported that at the time of negotiating specific projects, Chinese companies tried to change the amount of investment that the original government agreed upon.
The report, citing Bangladeshi media, also pointed out the Chinese construction firm, the CHEC, has earlier also engaged in corruption and tried to bribe Bangladeshi officials.
In October 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping, during his visit to Dhaka, had offered loans worth $24 billion to Bangladesh.
Xi's trip, the first by a Chinese president in 30 years, is aimed at boosting China's involvement in infrastructure projects at a time when India is pushing investments of its own in Bangladesh.
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