The Financial Express

Fertiliser unit

BCIC detects major financial scam

Internal probe reveals involvement of project director, div accounts chief

JUBAIR HASAN | Published: January 25, 2020 10:20:33 | Updated: January 25, 2020 22:04:52

BCIC detects major financial scam

State-run Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation, or BCIC, has unearthed major irregularities involving Tk 1.30 billion in a fertiliser project completed in recent years.

The Shahjalal fertiliser project valued at Tk 54.09 billion was completed a few years ago.

Two officials of the corporation allegedly embezzled the money by showing fake bills and investing in fixed deposits, according to an internal investigation.

After finding the evidence of graft, the BCIC sent the investigation report early this month to the Anti Corruption Commission, or ACC, seeking its intervention.

According to a letter sent to the ACC, former project director of Shahjalal Fertiliser project Md Kamruzzaman and ex-divisional accounts chief Khondker Mohammad Iqbal submitted a number of bills during fiscal years 2017 and 2018 after internal audit objections.

Of the bills, over 200 were found fake and the value of the bills was estimated to be over Tk 406 million, the letter said.

"The nexus between Md Kamruzzaman and Khondker Mohammad Iqbal is quite natural since Kamruzzaman approved the bills," it said.

Simultaneously, the BCIC investigators found another way of stealing the funds by the duo who kept Tk 930 million from another project in banks as fixed deposits in their personal accounts in several private banks.

Preferring anonymity, a senior corporation official said they had received too many audit objections against them, forcing the authority to launch internal investigation before referring it to the anti-graft body.

"What we found in the investigation is very sensational. Just think--who can dare invest public fund in FDR in the personal accounts without approval from the corporation?" he asked.

He said Md Kamruzzaman has recently retired from his service while Khondker Mohammad Iqbal was suspended on another corruption charge.

When contacted, BCIC chairman Haiul Quaium said the recent actions came following his commitment to make the troubled corporation a profitable entity.

In line with the actions against the duo, he said, they suspended Khondker Mohammad Iqbal and also froze pension benefits of Mr Kamruzzaman.

At the same time, the ACC has been requested to investigate the alleged irregularities and take legal action for committing corruption. "We're also investigating some other objections," he added.

"I am not physically well. So, I can't talk about the matter now… sorry," Md Kamruzzaman told this correspondent before snapping the phone.

Mr Iqbal could not be reached for comments despite several attempts over cellphone.


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