A Dhaka metropolitan magistrate court on Thursday charged JKG Health Care chairperson Sabrina Arif Chowhury, his husband and JKG chief executive officer Ariful Islam Chowhury and six others with COVID-19 certificate forgery.
Dhaka metropolitan magistrate Shorafuzzaman Ansari also posted for August 27 the commencement of their formal trial with examination of the prosecution witnesses.
The rest six accused JKG executive officer Shafiqul Islam, graphic designer Humayun Kabir, his wife Tanzina Patwary, Ariful’s sister Jebunnesa Rima and employees Sayeed Chowdhury and Biplob Das.
The eight were charged with cheating punishable with imprisonment for seven years under Section 420 of the Penal Code, forgery punishable with jail for two years under Section 465 of the code, forgery of records punishable with jail for seven years under Section 466 of the code, using forged documents as genuine punishable with imprisonment for seven years under Section 471 of the code, negligent act likely to spread infection punishable with jail for six months, criminal breach of trust punishable with jail for three years under Section 460 of the code, abetment punishable with jail for three years under Section 117 of the code and acts in the furtherance of common intention under Section 34 of the code.
The accused were in the dock during the framing of charges.
Earlier on August 5, the Detective Branch of the police filed the charge sheet against the eight in the case.
According to the charges, JKG falsified at least 1,985 COVID-19 certificates and issued the certificates through a fake email account of the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research.
The charges said that JKG was assigned by the Directorate General of Health Services to collect swabs for coronavirus test, but they forged samples, results and even provided results with fake email accounts without having any test, in many cases.
On June 23, Kamal Hossain, who was given a fake COVID19 report from JKG, filed the case against Ariful and several unnamed people with the Tejgaon police station.
Police on the same day arrested Humayun, Tanzina and Ariful.
With their information and confessions of some arrested, Sabrina, also a suspended cardiac surgeon at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, was arrested on July 12.
During investigation, detectives have found involvement of some health ministry and DGHS employees in the scam.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Country