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Tk 262cr embezzlement by 5 co-operative societies: Most owners, executives get away scot-free

Tk 262cr embezzlement by 5 co-operative societies: Most owners, executives get away scot-free

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Most of the owners and executives of five multipurpose co-operative societies that swindled their clients out of Tk 262.5 crore are still at large, leaving several thousand victims in uncertainty about getting back their hard-earned money.

The organisations are Chetona Multipurpose Co-operative Society Ltd, Karnaphuli Multipurpose Co-operative Society Ltd, Shikha Bachib Co-operative Society Ltd, Shibpur Microcredit Co-operative Society Ltd and Green Bird Multipurpose Co-operative Society Ltd.

Of those, Chetona embezzled about Tk 100 crore while Karnaphuli Tk 110 crore, Green Bird Tk 50 crore, Shikha Bachib Tk 2 crore and Shibpur misappropriated Tk 50 lakh, said police and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).

RAB-4 arrested 10 members of Ashulia-based Chetona Multipurpose Co-operative Society from Ashulia on the outskirts of the capital on March 22 and 23 last.

The arrestees were Vice-President Iqbal Hossain Sarkar, General Secretary Mazharul Islam, Momin Hossain, Jahangir Alam, SM Makbul Hossain, Ibrahim Khalil, Mizanur Rahman, Al Amin Hossain, Fazlul Haque and Nur Hossain.

But President of the co-operative society Muhammad Ullah and some other post holders are yet to be arrested.

The elite force arrested Chairman of Shibpur Microcredit Co-operative Society Foyez Ullah and two others -- Afrin Akhter and Taslima Begum -- from Shah Ali area of the capital on February 22.

But General Secretary Rokeya Begum, Vice-President Sirajul Islam, Joint General Secretary Alauddin, Treasurer Arif Hossain and Jamil Hossain Wadud are still at large.

Contacted, Major Rabiul Islam, second-in-command of RAB-4, told the Daily Sun that they were trying to arrest the fugitives.

Police arrested Green Bird Multipurpose Co-operative Society Chairman Alauddin Ahmed from Rampura area in the capital in May, but its executives went into hiding.

Officer-in-charge of Rampura Police Station Rafiqul Islam told the Daily Sun that Alauddin established the co-operative society and ran it while some others were also involved in its operation.

“We’re now thinking whether we should arrest others as they were mere officials and employees of the organisation. It’s an ethical matter,” he said.

RAB raided the Karnaphuli Multipurpose Co-operative Society office at Mirpur on October 25, 2021.

On November 4, Chairman of the organisation Jasim Uddin and his wife Mahmuda Akhter Lucky were arrested from Tangail, but directors and some other post holders could not be held.

Kamal Uddin, an employee of a hotel at Shah Ali area of the capital, said he used to deposit Tk 1,000 every month with the society after they promised to give him Tk 90,000 against 60,000 after five years. “But I’m not sure now whether I’ll get back my money,” Kamal, who is now living at East Badda, said.

The elite force members arrested President and General Secretary of Shikha Bachib Co-operative Society Abdur Razzak alias Liakat and Ataur Rahman respectively from Kakna Bazar in Daulatpur of Manikganj on May 8.

The vice-presidents, joint general secretary and other post bearers are still at large.

Jakaria Hossain, OC of Daulatpur Police Station, told the Daily Sun that some post holders of the co-operative society could not be arrested but their drive was on to capture them.