WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The United States has placed former Bangladesh Army Chief, General Aziz Ahmed, on a visa blacklist due to allegations of corruption and improper military contract awards benefiting his family. This move, announced by the State Department, makes Ahmed and his immediate family members ineligible to enter the U.S. under laws targeting corrupt practices.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller stated, “General Ahmed’s actions have undermined Bangladesh’s democratic institutions and eroded public trust in government processes.” The blacklist follows a 2021 Al Jazeera documentary that accused Ahmed of exploiting his position for personal luxury and assisting his brothers in evading Bangladeshi law enforcement.

The documentary, titled “All the Prime Minister’s Men,” revealed how Ahmed facilitated his brothers Haris and Anis Ahmed in fleeing to Hungary and Malaysia after their involvement in the 1996 murder of political rival Mustafizur Rahman Mustafa. Leaked documents showed that Aziz Ahmed used military resources to create a false identity for Haris Ahmed, enabling him to set up businesses and acquire properties in Europe.

The State Department emphasized Ahmed’s role in helping his brother evade justice for criminal activities in Bangladesh and his involvement in the improper awarding of military contracts and accepting bribes for government appointments. These actions have severely impacted the integrity of Bangladesh’s public institutions.

Aziz Ahmed, who retired in 2021, rose to prominence as a close ally of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Despite the generally friendly relations between the U.S. and Bangladesh, including cooperation on security issues, Washington has criticized Bangladesh for its undemocratic practices. Previously, the U.S. has restricted visas for Bangladeshis accused of undermining elections.

The Al Jazeera investigation highlighted how Haris Ahmed boasted about profiting from military contracts through his brother’s influence. Following the documentary, Bangladesh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs dismissed the findings as a “smear campaign” orchestrated by government opponents abroad, asserting that Haris Ahmed had no official ties to the prime minister or any state institution.