Barapukuria Scam: ACC district office sends docs to HQ
12:00 AM, July 27, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:52 AM, July 27, 2018

Barapukuria Scam: Coal mining company MD suspended

Petrobangla has suspended Managing Director of Barapukuria Coal Mining Company Limited (BCMCL) Habib Uddin Ahmed in connection with the “disappearance of 1.44 lakh tonnes of coal” from the mine, reports UNB. 

Abul Mansur Md Faizullah, chairman of Petrobangla, the coalmine's parent company, said they took the action against the MD yesterday.  

Earlier, Habib Uddin was withdrawn from the BCMCL after the “disappearance of coal” came to light a few days ago when a team from Power Development Board visited the coalmine in Dinajpur and found that there was no adequate reserve of coal in the yard of the mine.

In another development, the ACC office in the district yesterday sent the documents and evidence it collected from Barapukuria coalmine to its Dhaka headquarters, reports our correspondent there.

A team from the ACC Dinajpur office visited the mine on Monday, the day the ACC formed a probe committee to investigate coal going missing from the Barapukuria Coal Mining Company Ltd (BCMCL) yard.

On Tuesday night, the BCMCL filed a case against its 19 officials over the alleged disappearance of 144,644 tonnes of coal worth Tk 230 crore from the BCMCL, said ACC's Deputy Director Benzir Ahmed.

The ACC is yet to appoint an investigation officer for the case, said an ACC top official preferring to be unnamed.

According to the case statement, some coal was explored during road development for the mine before 2005. Some of it was sold, while the rest was stockpiled.

Since September 10, 2005, the mine began commercial exploration and maintained the stock by adding to the previous stock.

Between 2001 and July 19 this year, 1,01,66,042.33 tonnes were extracted. Of that, about 66,87,029 tonnes were supplied to the Barapukuria power plant while 33,19,280.37 tonnes were sold to various private companies. Another 12,088.27 tonnes were used by the mine's boiler.

On July 19 this year, there should have been a stock of 1,47,644 tonnes, but there were only 3,000 tonnes, said the case statement.

This means, there was a deficit of 1,44,644 tonnes worth about Tk 230 crore, it added.

It appears that some of the accused in the case might have long been involved in the theft of the coal in connivance with previous managements, the case statement read.

After the alleged disappearance of the coal surfaced, Petrobangla formed a three-member enquiry committee led by its director (operation and mine) Engr Md Kamruzzaman.

In the initial probe, Petrobangla found negligence by some key officials. It removed four officials last week.

The 525MW Barapukuria coal-fired power plant was shut down on Sunday due to lack of coal, a direct fallout of the coal going missing from the mine yard.

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