Multi-level marketing firm Destiny Group and its several sister concerns have siphoned off over Tk100crore to the USA, France, Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore between June 2010 and 2012, reveals a probe by the Anti-Corruption Commission.
According to the probe reports, the group has siphoned off the money in the name of import of agro products and ground service equipment and lease of aircraft, salary and allowance of its foreign crews, honorarium and security deposit for taking general sales agent-ship of Yemen Airways.
The Destiny officials sent the money without informing Bangladesh Bank.
The ACC on Thursday approved filing of charges against 51 top executives of Destiny Group and its associates including its President and former army chief M Harun-ur-Rashid and Managing Director Mohammad Rafiqul Amin for embezzling and laundering of Tk4,119 crore from the clients’ deposits.
Among them, 46 people have been charged for the irregularities in Destiny Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited (DMCSL) while 19 for the Destiny Tree Plantation Limited (DTPL).
The probe has found that most of the money was laundered by Rafiqul in association with several others of the group and was mostly sent to Noel G Carey, a Hong Kong resident who has business ties with the Destiny Group MD.
According to the report, Tk56.19 crore was sent to Carey, owner at Softalk Online (HK) Limited based in Hong Kong, in the name of import of MLM products and honorarium of Carey under the tree plantation project.
From the cooperatives business, the group has laundered a total of Tk43.87 crore to the USA, France, Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore.
According to the report, main accused Rafiqul while serving as the chairman/managing director of Best Aviation Limited siphoned off Tk41.19 crore to the five countries. Of the amount, Tk31.62 crore was laundered by Best Aviation Limited in the name of aircraft lease and import of ground service equipment, though the ACC probe did not find any such lease or import of such products. The money was sent to Atlas Aviation, LLC, USA, which is a global provider of comprehensive aircraft sales, leasing and financial services.
Meanwhile, the Destiny high-ups also laundered Tk9.57 crore to the same company in the name of import of cargo aircraft parts, and salary and allowance, and training cost for the foreign crews.
From the Destiny Agro Industries Limited, Rafiqul and other high-ups have laundered Tk1.46 crore to Carey in the name of importing agro products for the company, the report said.
While serving as the MD of Destiny Air Systems Limited, accused Rafiqul and others have sent Tk1.21 crore to Yemen in the name of security deposit for taking general sales agent-ship and Cargo general sales agent-ship of Yemen Airways.
The probe report was prepared based on confessional statements of the accused, analysing their bank accounts, reports from Financial Intelligence Unit of the central bank and other documents collected by the ACC probe team.
The report says Rafiqul in his confessional statement made before a magistrate said he had 50% partnership in Softalk Online (HK) Limited, with Carey.
The Destiny MD also confessed that he had a company in Singapore named Destiny Singapore. The accused also confessed that he had accounts and balance at several banks in the USA, Singapore, Malaysia and Canada.
The key accused also admitted that in the name of training of the cabin crews of Best Aviation, he had sent €84,300 to ETOPS Aviation and Services Limited through non-banking channels (hundi), without permission from central bank.
On July 31, 2012, the ACC filed two cases against 22 high officials of Destiny 2000 Limited accusing them of embezzling around Tk3,285 crore under the Money Laundering Prevention Act 2004 and 2012.
Destiny President Harun is currently on bail, while its Managing Director Rafiqul is in jail in connection with the cases.
Source: Dhaka Tribune