Bangladesh blacklists Chinese construction firm over bribe allegation
 Source : NewsBharati  Date : 19-Jan-2018

Dhaka, January 19: The state-backed China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) was blacklisted for alleged attempts to bribe Bangladeshi government officials.

The Bangladesh government has blacklisted CHEC for trying to bribe a roads secretary. Bangladesh finance minister AMA Muhith had confirmed the ban late Tuesday when he was asked by a reporter about CHEC allegedly trying to bribe an official.

Muhith told reporters that the firm was blacklisted and could no longer work in Bangladesh after it offered the top bureaucrat in the road transport ministry around 5 million taka (US$60,000) as a bribe.

The government had signed a contract with the firm to develop the two-lane Dhaka-Sylhet Highway to a four-lane one and set up a service lane, among other projects it was awarded in the country.

The finance minister said Tuesday that Bangladesh will fund the US$2.1 billion Dhaka-Sylhet highway expansion project itself.

The Chinese firm is one of the top companies in the global construction sector. It currently has operations in around 80 countries. Also, the Chinese firm which helped builds key ports in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Ties between Bangladesh and China got a huge boost in October 2016 when Xi Jinping became the first Chinese president to visit Dhaka in more than three decades. During his visit, the two countries signed a raft of deals worth more than US$20 billion.