ACC approves charge sheet against 7 ex-MDs, 16 others for Barapukuria coal theft

Ahammad Foyez | Published: 17:51, Jul 21,2019 | Updated: 01:20, Jul 22,2019

 
 

The Anti-Corruption Commission on Sunday approved a charge sheet against seven former managing directors and 16 officials of Barapukuria Coal Mining Company Limited for their alleged involvement in the sensational theft of 1,43,728 tonnes of coal worth Tk 243.29 crore from the colliery in Dinajpur.

The charge sheet would be submitted to a Dinajpur court soon, said commission public relations officer Pranab Kumar Bhattacharjee.

The commission approved the charge sheet at a regular meeting in its Segunbagicha headquarters.

The charge sheet was prepared on the basis of the findings of investigator M Samsul Alam, said the commission official.

The accused include the company's former managing directors Habib Uddin Ahmed, Mahbubur Rahman, M Abdul Aziz Khan, Khurshid Alam, Kamaruzzaman, M Aminuzzamn and SM Nurul Awrangjeb, suspended general manager (administration) Abul Quasem Prothania, suspended general manager (mine operation) ATM Nuruzzaman Chowdhury, suspended deputy general manager (store) Khalemul Islam, former general manager M Shariful Islam, manager M Shoibur Rahman, deputy managing directors (mine planning and development) Zobayer Ali,  Masudur Rahman Hawlader (general services), Ashok Kumar Haldar (production management), Arifur Rahman (maintenance and operation) and Syed Imam Hasan (security), deputy managers Muhammad Khalilur Rahman (coal handling), Morsheduzzaman (maintenance and operation), Habibur Rahman (production management), Jahedur Rahman (mine development) and assistant managers Satyendranat Bar man and M Moniruzzaman.

On July 24, Barapukuria coal mine manager (administration) Mohammad Anisur Rahman filed the case with Parbatipur model police station accusing 19 officials of the company, including former managing director Habib Uddin Ahmed for the theft.

During year-long investigation, Samsul Alam, also deputy director of the commission found the involvement of nine more officials of the company, including its six former managing directors, in the theft.

The investigator dropped five officials of the company from the list of accused as their involvement was not found, said Pranab.

The five include, managers Mosharraf Hossain (exploration) and Jahidul Islam (design, construction and maintenance), deputy managers Ekramul Haque (safety management), former general manager Abdul Mannan Patwari and manager (finance and accounts) Gopal Chandra Saha.

According to the commission findings, the coal stocks disappeared between 2006 and 2018 from the Barapukuria coal mine.

The theft of the massive coal stocks from the Barapukuria Coal Mine was exposed in July 2018.

Pranab said that during the investigation a  three-member commission team interrogated about 40 personnel of the state-owned company.

On July 23, 2018, the ACC formed the  committee to investigate into the theft.

During investigations, the ACC imposed bans on travels by at least 35 Petrobangla officials including 19 listed as accused.

According to the first information report, out of 1,01,66,042 tonnes coal extracted from the mine until July 19, 2018, BCMCL supplied  66,87,029 tonnes to power plants, 33,19,280 tonnes were sold to private parties, 12,088.27 tonnes were used by BCMCL for its boilers.

According to FIR, only 3,000 tonnes of coal was found on the colliery yard on July 18, though 1,47,644 tonnes should have been there.

The FIR alleges that the accused were involved with the theft of 1,44,644 tonnes of coal worth about Tk 230 crore.

On July 23, 2018, the prime minister issued orders to bring the perpetrators to book as speedily as possible.

On December 6, 2018, BCMCL at its 20th board meeting treated the theft of the coal as ‘system loss’.

Experts condemned treating the theft as ‘system loss, ’ though in July 2018, a section of Petrobangla officials informed the BCMCL at its board meeting that they had found that there was 1,44,644 tonnes coal worth about Tk 230 crore at the colliery yard.

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