The Anti-Corruption Commission is going to probe allegations of graft involving Tk 36.4 crore in the purchase of furniture and other household items for the officials of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant.
“The commission has decided to launch an enquiry into the graft and formed a three-member committee in this regard,” ACC Public Relations Officer Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya told The Daily Star yesterday.
The committee members are ACC Deputy Director Nasir Uddin, Assistant Director Atikur Rahman and Deputy Assistant Director Mohammad Shahjahan Miraz. Nasir Uddin has been made the chief of the committee.
According to ACC rules, an enquiry should be completed within 45 working days of its beginning.
On May 21, ACC Chairman Iqbal Mahmood said the commission had been closely monitoring the graft issue.
He said they would take necessary actions based on the findings of the two investigations by the housing and public works ministry.
According to media reports, the purchase prices of various items to furnish 966 flats of the project’s Russian engineers and other officials were abnormally higher than the market prices.
The reports claimed that each pillow was bought for Tk 5,957, and the cost of carrying it to a flat was Tk 760. An electric stove was bought at Tk 7,747 and the cost for carrying it from the ground floor to the top floor was Tk 6,650. Each building of the project has 16 to 20 floors.
The reports also said the price of an electric iron was Tk 4,154 and the carrying cost was Tk 2,945.
When the matter came to light, the housing and public works ministry formed two probe committees. They found anomalies involving Tk 36.4 crore in purchasing furniture and other household items for the project in Pabna.
The probe bodies recommended departmental and legal actions against 50 project officials, including Engr Masudul Alam, former project director of Green City Housing Project under the power plant, over the irregularities.
On May 22, Masudul was made a reserve officer at the Public Works Department.
TWO CASES FILED
Meanwhile, the ACC yesterday filed a case against eight people, including former chairman of erstwhile Farmers Bank Mahbubul Haque Chisty, his brother Majedul Haque Chisty and ex-additional managing director AKMM Shamim for allegedly misappropriating about Tk 114.34 crore from the bank.
The five other accused are Abdul Wadud, proprietor of Shababa Apparels, Rashed Ali, owner of ADM Dyeing and Washing, Meftah Ferdous, proprietor of Tanuj Corporation, Golam Sarwar, owner of Mohammad Ali Transport and Ismail Hawladar, proprietor of Kanam Products.
Farmers Bank has been renamed as Padma Bank. The bank, which was established in 2013, became a hotbed for financial irregularities in less than three years of operation. More than Tk 3,500 crore was siphoned out from the bank, according to Bangladesh Bank.
On April 10 last year, the ACC arrested Chisty, his son Rashedul Haque Chisty and two officials of the bank in connection with a Tk 160 crore laundering case.
Also yesterday, the ACC filed another case against controversial business tycoon Moosa Bin Shamsher, his brother Faruk-uz-Zaman Chowdhury, owner of Auto Define Wahidur Rahman, Assistant Engineer Ayub Ansari of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority and one Fareed Nabir for using fake documents to dodge an import tax of about Tk 2.15 crore on a luxury car.
Two years ago, the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate asked the ACC to sue Moosa on charges of dodging the tax.
According to the case statement, a seized Range Rover used by Moosa was registered with the Bhola office of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, with a bill of entry showing Tk 17 lakh was paid in taxes.
But an investigation found that no such bill of entry was submitted to Chattogram Customs House.