Monday, 6 February, 2023

HC seeks BCIC’s explanation over embezzlement of 72,000 tonnes fertilizer

The High Court on Thursday asked Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) authority to give an explanation over the embezzlement of 72,000 tonnes of imported chemical fertilisers that caused the government a loss of Tk 582 crore.

The HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Khizir Hayat passed the order on a suo moto move after taking a report published in a national daily into cognizance.

BCIC chairman has been asked to submit an explanation in this regard on January 20.

Besides, the court ordered the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate the matter and submit a report within 60 days.

The HC also issued a rule questioning why the failure and negligence of the authorities concerned to take action against those involved in the embezzlement should not be declared illegal.

Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan appeared for the ACC in the court while Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin Manik and Assistant Attorney General Anna Khanam Koli represented the state.

A national daily published a report today (Thursday) stating that Poton Traders, the contractor in charge of transportation, has allegedly embezzled 72,000 tonnes of government imported chemical fertilisers without delivering them to the warehouse after release from the port. The government has suffered a financial loss of Tk 582 crore for this embezzlement.

Former Member of Parliament Kamrul Ashraf Khan (Poton) is the owner of Potton Traders.

The fertiliser embezzlement by Potton Traders has come to light in two investigations by the BCIC, a government body under the Ministry of Industry that imports  fertilizer.

The fertilisers were released between November, 2021 and May 15, 2022.

BCIC has not taken any legal action even after seven months of non-supply of fertiliser. BCIC sent a letter to the Ministry of Industries December 20 last year seeling  instructions for taking legal action.