Court orders confiscation of Destiny properties

A Dhaka Court on Tuesday ordered the Anti-Corruption Commission to confiscate all the movable and immovable properties of Destiny Group.

Destiny Group Chairman Mohammad Rafiqul Amin, his wife Farah Diba, Destiny 2000 Limited Chairman Mohammad Hossain and all the associate organisation of group including its Tree Plantation Project will come under the order.

Judge Mohammad Zahirul Haque of the Senior Special Judges’ Court of Dhaka passed the order after the anti-graft body filed two separate petitions before the court seeking its permission in this regard.

ACC Deputy Director Mozahar Ali Sarder and its Assistant Director Toufiqul Islam filed the petitions.

Top Destiny Group officials are currently facing charges that include money laundering and transferring company funds to personal accounts.

The anomalies first came to light after a Bangladesh Bank probe in March found Destiny’s cooperative arm engaged in illegal banking.

Other agencies, including the Anti-Corruption Commission, cooperatives department and commerce ministry, also stepped in to look into the matter.

The commerce secretary said the Destiny Group was not being banned as directly a few lakh people, indirectly even more, are involved with the company.

On October 11, the Senior Special Judge’s Court ordered sending three top Destiny bosses, including Lt Gen (retd) M Harun-Ar-Rashid and Rafiqul Amin, to jail in two cases of money laundering.

After the central bank requested the ACC to look into the Destiny scams, the watchdog on July 31 filed cases against the group’s 22 top officials over the Tk 3,285.26 crore laundering.

The ACC on August 13 and September 12 filed appeal petitions with the Senior Special Judge’s Court in Dhaka for cancellation of the bail.

On September 27, Judge Md Zahirul Haque of the court cancelled the bail of 22 Destiny officials, including the trio. He ordered them to surrender before the court, which has jurisdiction to deal with money laundering cases.

A probe committee on October 9 suggested the government to take over control of the assets of controversial multilevel marketing company Destiny Group.

The Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms (RJSCF), who led the probe, submitted the report to the commerce ministry.

The probe, however, did not find accounts of Tk 3,800 crore.

It found evidence of money laundering by the group, which agreed with the central bank findings submitted six months ago.

The report came six months after a Bangladesh Bank report that detected transfer of huge public funds into the personal accounts of Destiny directors and its management committee members.

In March, the central bank report found that Destiny Multipurpose Cooperative Society, a sister concern of Destiny Group, as of December 31, 2012 had collected nearly Tk 2,000 crore in deposits and share capital from people.

The central bank investigation found that the company was involved in banking activities — from deposit collection to lending — illegally.

Source: The Daily Star


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