Two high officials of Biman Bangladesh Airlines were made officers on special duty (OSD) yesterday on charges of embezzling money and abusing their authority.
The two officials are Shafiqul Islam, deputy general manager (commercial), and Ashraful Alam, acting director (marketing and sales).
Shakil Meraj, Biman's general manager (public relations), said the board of Biman yesterday issued a notification in this regard.
Biman Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer AM Masaddique Ahmed will look after the two departments until further notice, Meraj added.
According to sources in civil aviation ministry, Shafiqul earlier played the role of Biman's country manager in its London station for four years. During that time, he reportedly embezzled around Tk 16 crore.
Although Shafiqul told the Biman authorities that he distributed around 2472 free tickets on London-Dhaka-London route for advertisement purpose, he, in real, sold those and kept the tickets' prices, sources added.
Mohibul Haque, secretary at the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, told The Daily Star that Shafiqul had no jurisdiction to offer free tickets to people.
“On receiving complaint, the ministry in its primary investigation found that he [Shafiqul] sold those tickets in exchange of money from passengers,” Mohibul added.
“What he did is nothing but theft and embezzlement of money,” he further said.
The secretary also said that the ministry sent its investigation report to the Biman's Board.
On the other hand, Ashraful was allegedly involved in illegally giving benefits to particular travel agencies through blocking seats on different routes, said Biman sources.
The board of Biman on Tuesday discussed the issues in its meeting and asked the national airliner to make the two officials OSD.
Biman MD Masaddique has been given charge to take further action against the duo, Biman sources said.
The Daily Star, however, could not reach Shafiqul and Ashraful for their comments after repeated attempts.