Another contractor quizzed over N95 mask scam

Staff Correspondent | Published: 01:36, Jul 10,2020


The Anti-Corruption Commission on Thursday interrogated Meditech Imaging Ltd director Humayun Kabir for several hours while the owner of Lexicon Merchandise Ltd and Technocrat Ltd Motazzerul Islam Mithu sent a letter through his lawyer saying that he was in the USA.

About the inquiry, ACC secretary Mohammad Delwar Bakth told reporters that the commission would summon health ministry and health department officials if name of any one of them appeared in its interrogation.

Earlier on Wednesday, the ACC interrogated JMI Hospital Requisite Manufacturing Ltd chairman M Abdur Razzak and Toma Construction Ltd medical team coordinator M Matur Rahman on charge of supplying low-quality health products, including N-95 masks, to some government hospitals.

A team of the commission headed by its director Mir Joynul Abdin Shibly interrogated them.

On June 18, ACC formed a four-member inquiry committee to investigate the allegation that JMI supplied low-quality products.

Later, the names of the rest of the companies were included in the commission’s list for inquiry, said Pranab.

Earlier on June 10, the commission initiated the inquiry.

After COVID-19 outbreak, the Central Medical Stores Depot supplied personal protective equipment that included packets of masks labelled N-95 masks to government hospitals.

The CMSD and its vendor JMI, in separate newspaper advertisements, gave an explanation saying that ordinary facemasks were wrongly put inside N-95 mask packets.

For them, it was only a packaging mistake.

Besides, the government did not take any action against Toma Construction Limited that supplied a fewer number of N-95 Niosh masks to the Central Medical Storage Depot after obtaining an unsolicited tender to import three lakh masks from China.

The scam was unearthed two weeks ago by the National Security Intelligence while randomly checking 20 cartons of masks at the CMSD.

The agency found that 200 masks were missing from a total of 4,800 masks.

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