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BARAPUKURIA COAL MINE THEFT CASE

Six former MDs, 16 officials land in jail

Staff Correspondent | Published: 19:15, Jan 13,2021 | Updated: 23:42, Jan 13,2021

 
 

A file photo of Barapukuria coal mine

The Dinajpur Special Judge’s Court on Wednesday sent six former managing directors and 16 officials of Barapukuria Coal Mining Company Limited to jail in a case for the theft of 1,43,728 tonnes of coal worth Tk 243.29 crore.

Judge Mahmudul Karim passed the order rejecting bail petitions of the 22 accused, said Anti-Corruption Commission deputy director Abu Hena Ashiqur Rahman in Dinajpur.

The six former managing directors are Habib Uddin Ahmed, M Abdul Aziz Khan, Khurshid Alam, Kamaruzzaman, M Aminuzzamn and SM Nurul Awrangjeb.

The 16 officials are suspended general manager (administration) Abul Quasem Prothania, suspended general manager (mine operation) ATM Nuruzzaman Chowdhury, suspended deputy general manager (store) Khaledul 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 Barman and M Moniruzzaman.

The 22 accused were on bail and they appeared before the court for charge hearing on Wednesday with the bail petitions, said Dinajpur court inspector Israil Hossain.

Earlier on October 2019, Dinajpur district and sessions judge Aziz Ahmed Bhuiyan sent Habib Uddin, Nuruzzaman Chowdhury and Khaledul Islam to jail rejecting bail petitions, said Abu Hena Ashiqur.

The same court on the day granted bail to the rest 20 accused in the case, he said, adding that the three people later obtained bail from the High Court.

On July 24, 2018, 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, of stealing coal and the case was sent to the commission for investigation.

ACC deputy director M Samsul Alam investigated the case and the commission approved charges against 23 people, including seven former managing directors and 16 officials of the company in July 2019.

After the submission of the charge sheet to a Dinajpur court, former managing director of the company Md Mahbubur Rahman died, commission officials said.

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

The massive coal theft from the Barapukuria coal mine was exposed in July 2018 and the commission formed a committee on July 23, 2018 to investigate the theft.

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

The complaint said that 3,000 tonnes of coal was found on the colliery yard on July 18, 2018 although 1,47,644 tonnes should have been there.

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

On July 23, 2018, the prime minister ordered an bringing the perpetrators to book as early as possible.

On December 6, 2018, the 20th board meeting of the company termed the theft of the coal ‘system loss’.

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