Two high officials of Biman Bangladesh Airlines were made officers on special duty (OSD) today for their alleged involvement in irregularities like selling and marketing of Biman tickets.
The officials are former country manager of Biman in London station Shafiqul Islam, also deputy general manager and commercial and acting director (marketing and sales), Ashraful Alam, said Shakil Meraj, general manager (public relation) of Biman Bangladesh Airlines.
The national flag carrier issued a notification yesterday in this regard, added Shakil Meraj.
Until further notice, Biman Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer AM Masaddique Ahmed will look after the two departments.
Sources in the Civil Aviation Ministry said, while discharging duty at Biman’s London office as its country manager for four years, Shafiqul Islam reportedly embezzled around Tk 16 crore in the name of selling around 2,472 tickets on London-Dhaka-London route free of cost.
Talking to The Daily Star, Mohibul Haque, secretary, Civil Aviation Ministry said Shafiqul has no jurisdiction to sell ticket free of cost.
“After receiving complaint, the ministry in its primary investigation found that he [Shafiqul] sold those tickets in exchange of money from passengers,” added Mohibul.
“What he did is nothing but theft and embezzlement of money,” he observed.
The secretary also said the ministry sent report of its primary investigation to the Biman Board.
Biman Board in its meeting on Tuesday discussed the matter and asked the national airliner to make the two officials OSD.
Biman MD has been given charge to take further actions against them, sources in Biman said.
Civil Aviation Ministry will send a delegation to Biman’s London office soon to carry out further investigation on alleged corruption in selling tickets and other related issues.
On the other hand, Ashraful Islam was allegedly involved in giving illegal benefit to some particular travel agencies through blocking seats on different routes, Biman sources said.
Shafiqul and Ashraful were not available for their comments.