• Friday, September 19, 2014

Court accepts charges against 51 Destiny men

Star Online Report

A Dhaka court today accepted charges against Managing Director of Destiny Group Rafiqul Amin and Destiny 2000 President Lt Gen (retd) Harun-Ar-Rashid and 49 others in two money laundering cases involving around Tk 4,200 crore.

Judge Mohammad Zahirul Haque of the Court of Senior Special Judges also issued arrest warrant against 46 out of 51 staff.

After issuing the arrest warrant, the court directed concerned officers-in-charge of different police stations to submit reports before it by July 13 on execution of the order.

The court also fixed July 13 as the next date of hearing in the cases.

The judge granted bail to Harun as he secured bail from the High Court.

Rafiqul and three other accused are now behind the bar while 46 other are absconding.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on May 4 pressed charges against the 51 in the two cases.

They were charged with misappropriating funds through Destiny Tree Plantation (DTPL) project and from Destiny Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd (DMCSL), according to an ACC official.

If the accused are found guilty, they will face imprisonment up to seven years, according to money laundering law.

The group's irregularities came under the spotlight in early 2012 after the central bank found that it was involved in illegal banking.

Different newspapers including The Daily Star ran reports on massive irregularities in the group's cooperative, tree plantation and multilevel marketing wings.

In July 2012, the ACC filed two cases against 22 Destiny officials on the charge of laundering the money. 

After running probe for nearly 22 months, two ACC investigators -- Mozahar Ali Sarder and Tawfiqul Islam -- submitted charge sheets to the Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court on May 4.

Destiny top officials misappropriated about Tk 4,200 crore through its tree plantation project and the cooperative firm, and laundered money abroad, say the charge sheets.

The officials embezzled the money in the name of paying salaries, honorarium, commission, incentives and promotional costs. They transferred the money to their bank accounts and those of the group's 20 companies.

On the other hand, they misappropriated Tk 2,433 crore from 17.5 lakh investors by selling 6.18 crore saplings under the tree plantation project. In reality, the group planted only 32 lakh trees, according to ACC findings.

Published: 11:41 am Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Last modified: 8:48 pm Wednesday, June 11, 2014

TAGS: Destiny Group Destiny 2000 Tree Plantation Project money laundering cases Anti-Corruption Corruption

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