The Bangladesh Navy has the wider commercial and financial interests in the country, and is a forerunner of the Khulna Shipyard, Dockyard and Engineering Works Limited and Chittagong Dry Dock, the Navy was a major sponsor of the coal transportation business of the powerplant, bridal event management, matrimony business – the real estate enterprise– and reportedly received market shares for the use of its name in commercial building projects. The Navy gained control of Chittagong Dry Dock to produce and repair commercial ships is known to Bangladeshi media.
Business Entity of Bangladesh Navy
The Navy and Air Force have sought permission from the Bangladesh government to start commercial bank. In a letter to the prime minister, Navy chief Vice Admiral Muhammad Farid Habib has asked for clearance for the proposed Maritime Bank Ltd. Habib said this would ‘further facilitate’ financial services for those serving the Navy and the Air Force.
The Navy wants to operate the bank through its commercial arm Nou Kalyan Foundation. It says the Air Force has ‘agreed’ to be a partner in the venture.It also said that they would file a formal proposal to the Bangladesh Bank after getting the prime minister’s permission on the matter.
The finance ministry said they were aware about the navy chief’s initiative.“I am aware about the proposal, but I don’t know whether any decision has been reached on it,” Secretary to the Banking and Financial Institutes Division M Aslam Alam told GDC. The Vice Admiral said in his letter said that his force had a strength of 22,000 whose banking needs had grown.“
The Navy is dealing with public and private funds more than ever before. The number of vessels serving for the UN peacekeeping mission has also increased,” the letter to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh says.
Bangladesh Navy now uses different commercial banks to handle financial matters, the navy chief wrote, adding that a separate bank would make things easy and save public funds.
The bank aims to invest in large projects in the maritime and aviation sector, especially export-import, shipbuilding and aviation, ports and in the blue economy.“Feasibility study by a well-known consulting agency says the bank would be able to play an important role in the country’s economic development process,” Vice Admiral Habib wrote.
Vice Admiral Habib sought the prime minister’s intervention to instruct the finance ministry and the central bank to clear their initiative.
Bangladesh Army’s commercial arm, Sena Kalyan Foundation currently operates the Trust Bank Ltd.The Ansar-VDP Unnayan Bank, a specialised bank, operates for the Bangladesh Ansar and VDP, is owned by the government.
The Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) also sought the government’s clearance for a bank of its own.
For external billets appointment, the Bangladeshi government takes the senior leadership of the Navy as a secondment to manage the naval institutions such as the Chittagong and Khulna Ports and port authority.
Due to high corruption activities within Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Government has sent Navy officers to Putrajaya Malaysia to participant in anti-corruption education programs, among the Navy’s participated the Royal Malaysian Navy, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Royal Malaysian Police Marine Police Division, Bangladesh Navy, Indonesian Navy and Lubnan Navy visited the MACC Headquarters in a bid to avoid corruption and bribery offered by Rosoboronexport, UAC, Rostec, Norinco and Chinese Naval Shipbuilding Companies.
The visit was also a collaborative effort between Navy KD Sultan Idris I and MACC via Lt. Kdr. Ezrinorsyah bin Md Shah as the course coordinator and lead delegation.
The group was first given a safety briefing, before visiting the exhibition gallery and MACC courtyard.
Next, a slot featuring a talk entitled “Integrity and Corruption Prevention” was delivered by Mr. Jayantha Kumar.
Punishment for Misappropriation
Every person subject to this Ordinance who commits any of the following offences, that is to say- (a) commits theft of any property belonging to the Government, or to any service mess, band or institution or to any person subject to service law, or serving with or attached to the navy; (b) dishonestly misappropriates or converts to his own use any such property; (c) commits criminal breach of trust in respect of any such property; (d) dishonestly receives or retains any such property in respect of which any of the offences under clauses (a), (b) and (c) has been committed, knowing or having reason to believe the commission of such offence;Chapter 63 of Naval Ordnance 1961 under Bangladeshi law recommended long imprisonment of Naval officers who has committed above crimes.
Bangladesh Navy is dangerously incompetent, corrupt and ill-equipped
Why the Bangladesh Navy has failed to restore public confidence that it can defend the territorial sovereignty of Bangladesh. How does one explain these failures? There can be many explanations. However, if there is an overriding message from these debacles, it is that the military is ill-equipped to defend the state because it has captured much of the bedrock of the state to which it is unaccountable.
Some leading Bangladeshi figures in business has admitted that military-owned businesses are virtually indistinguishable from other commercial enterprises in the way they operate. The irony is that military business interests have thrived more under the civilian rule than under the martial law regime of General Hossain Mohammad Ershad.
Bangladesh Navy spent almost US $203 million dollars to buy obsolete type 035G submarine from China where Myanmar Navy has inducted modernised Kilo-class submarine from India.
Bangladesh Navy currently has no meaningful anti-submarine warfare capability. Bangladesh Navy so far procured second-hand type 053H obsolete Chinese ships.
The Bangladesh Shipping Corporation is the national flag carrier and a state-owned mega corporation under the administrative control of the Secretary to the Government of Bangladesh for Maritime Affairs. The Corporation’s head office is located in Dhaka. The Chairman of BSC is appointed by the government and is usually a three-star naval officer.
Read More Bangladesh Air Force: A Band of Morons
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Navy procured second hand and refurbished Chinese Navy’s ships. When the Chinese Navy cannot operate or intend to scrap the ships, they transfer and sale the ships to Bangladesh Navy.
Bangladesh Navy continues to procure Chinese refurbished ships and siphoned billions of dollar to coal transportation business.
A coal-laden lighter vessel operated by Bangladesh Navy capsized near the Sangu Gas Field in the Bay of Bengal. Bangladesh Noujan Sramik Federation joint secretary Md Khorshed Alam said that fishing boats rescued the crew and sent them to another ship, MV AL Namera-8.
Read More Contested Skies: BAF’s uncertain Future
Bangladesh Navy’s coal transportation business is also responsible for many catastrophic ecological disasters in the Bay of Bengal and Sundarban, a mangrove forest in the Bangladeshi coast.
Bangladesh Navy operates MV Nou Kollan 1 and MV Nou Kollan 2 transportation ships and leased many coal transportation ships to operate in Bangladesh.
The BN currently operates four frigates; an elderly Type 053H1 (Jianghu II)-class ship acquired from China in 1989, and two former PLAN Type 053H2 (Jianghu III)-class vessels transferred from China in 2014. It also operates two larger, 3,250-ton former US Coastguard Hamilton-class cutters, each armed with a 76 mm Oto Melara gun, acquired in 2013 and 2015.
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