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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 May 2007, 12:40 GMT 13:40 UK
'Cash hoard' found in Bangladesh
Bangladeshi police with the cash horde
The sum of cash of cash was so big, police could not count it all
A hoard of cash totalling about $145,000 in Bangladeshi Taka has been discovered at the home of a leading forestry official, police in Dhaka say.

They say that the cash was found stuffed inside shopping bags, pillows, rice bags and under the bed of Mohammad Osman Gani in a flat near the capital.

Mr Gani, the chief forest conservator of Bangladesh, was arrested but reportedly refused to answer questions.

The government says his arrest is part of its ongoing anti-corruption drive.


The authorities say that the raid on Mr Gani's flat lasted seven hours, and revealed such a large quantity of cash that a sorting machine had to be acquired from a nearby bank in order to count it all.

"We counted more than 17 lakh Taka (nearly $25,000) stashed inside the pillow," a police officer told the New Age newspaper.

Police say that when Mr Gani was questioned about the cash, he remained silent and at one stage, fell unconscious. But they say he recovered after receiving hospital treatment and is now helping them with their inquiries.

Police say the forestry official - whose salary is in the region of $384 a month - will soon be further questioned about holding cash reserves incompatible with his earning powers.

The caretaker government has made tackling Bangladesh's endemic corruption its top priority.

On Tuesday, two former ministers - Altaf Hossain Chowdhury from the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Sheikh Selim from the Awami League - were arrested.

They joined dozens of top politicians who have been detained since a state of emergency was declared in January.

It was declared by the military-backed caretaker administration which also suspended parliamentary elections that had been due in January.

The caretaker administration says it will hold polls by late 2008.

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