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Bangladesh anti-graft agency charges 18 for factory collapse

Bangladesh’s anti-corruption agency charged 18 people for ‘grossly violating’ code regulations in the construction of a factory building that collapsed last year, resulting in at least 1,130 deaths.

The Rena Plaza that collapsed in April 2013 was built on a bog outside Dhaka.

Those arrested last week by the Anti-Corruption Commission included the building owner, Mohammad Sohel Rana, his parents, the local mayor, engineers, and three owners of garment factories that used the building, the Gulf Times said.

“The charge-sheet has been filed against 18 people, including Rana after further investigation found his involvement,” commission spokesman Pranab Kumar Bhattachajee said.

He said the “Investigation found that they grossly breached the building code.”

City officials gave permission for extra floors in the building without authority, he said.

Rana, the building owner, has been in custody since his arrest soon after the building collapsed.

“Police said Rana, a former ruling party official, forced thousands of workers to return to shift despite big cracks that had appeared in the factory walls,” the Gulf Times said.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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