• Wednesday, Oct 28, 2020
  • Last Update : 10:47 pm

ACC collects wealth information of ex-DGHS DG Azad, wife

  • Published at 12:49 am August 21st, 2020
Prof Abul Kalam Azad
File photo of Prof Abul Kalam Azad Dhaka Tribune

The ACC has already grilled five DGHS officials  as part of its inquiry into the fake Covid-19 certificates and N95 masks scam in recent months

The ACC has collected wealth information of former director general (DG) of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Dr Md Abul Kalam Azad and his wife, Dr Raihana Begum, of biochemistry department at the Bangladesh Medical College (BMC).

Multiple sources confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune on Thursday.

According to sources, Azad was allegedly involved in amassing illegal wealth through irregularities and corruption in the health sector.

Dr Raihana Begum allegedly helped her husband launder the money and amass illegal wealth in their name, and also allegedly under the names of their son and other family members and relatives, claim ACC sources wishing anonymity.

However, a highly placed source at the commission claimed that Azad was allegedly “on top” or “the head” when It came to manipulation of deals in the health sector, reportedly with the help of some other DGHS and Health Ministry officials.

During the interrogation, Azad claimed that the agreement with Regent Hospital was reached due to the “verbal instructions” of the then health secretary Asadul Islam.

DGHS Director (hospitals and clinics) Dr Md Aminul Hasan and former Health Services Division secretary Asadul Islam, who is now senior secretary of the planning ministry, were allegedly his two deputies who would carry out the deals on his behalf.

They have now been shifted from the DGHS and are scheduled to be questioned by the ACC, based on Azad’s testimony.

However, earlier last month, ACC conducted primary inquiry and interrogated the officials as part of its investigation into scams involving Regent Hospital, JKG Health Care, and N-95 masks, sources said.

The ACC has already grilled five DGHS officials  as part of its inquiry into the fake Covid-19 certificates and N95 masks scam in recent months.

ACC Director Sheikh Md Fanafilla questioned  other DGHS officials – deputy directors Md Yunus Ali and Dr Md Shafiur Rahman, and Research Officer Md Didarul Islam – in the Regent Hospital and JKG Healthcare scam case.

Earlier on July 10, ACC Chairman Iqbal Mahmood said that those involved with corruption in the health sector will face justice once they are identified.

Moreover, the ACC chief also said: “We have checked the approval letter by several DGHS officials. So they will have to face the anti-graft commission if needed."

He also said ACC found names of some individuals from various sources after primary investigation, although the commission already has a huge cache of authentic documents, audio, video, and pictures of those involved in the Regent Hospital scam.

Meanwhile, the ACC questioned three officials of the Central Medical Stores Depot (CMSD) as part of its probe into the purchase of corruption of N95 mask and personal protective equipment (PPE).

On July 13, the ACC decided to launch an investigation against the owner of Regent Hospital and Chairman of Regent Group Mohammad Shahed alias Shahed Karim.

However, all DGHS officials in question denied their involvement and said they followed directions from the ministry.

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