The High Court has directed the authorities concerned to launch an inquiry against managing director of Chattogram-based shipbuilding and ship-repairing company FMC Dockyard Limited Yasin Chowdhury who fled the country after siphoning off about Tk. 1500 crore.
The higher court asked the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) of Bangladesh Bank, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to submit a report in this regard within two months.
The HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Khizir Hayat issued the order on a suo-muto (voluntary) rule on Sunday (January 8) following a report published in a Bengali daily on January 4.
ACC lawyer Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan brought the newspaper report to the attention of the court. Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin Manik stood for the state.
The HC bench also issued a ruling asking why the inaction of the authorities concerned in the investigation into the embezzlement by Yasin Chowdhury will not be declared illegal.
Earlier on January 4, the report was published in a national daily under the headline ‘Yasin, who stole Tk 1500 crore, fled abroad’.
According to the report, Yasin Chowdhury embezzled about Tk 1500 crore from banks and different individuals and went abroad. There are several cases against him in Chattogram for defrauding customers and not repaying loans taken from financial institutions. Despite the arrest warrant, he is now living a luxurious life in Dubai.
It is alleged that Yasin Chowdhury is involved in various anti-government activities by staying abroad. He is providing support and money to anti-government movement.
It is also known that Yasin Chowdhury has taken a huge amount of money as advance from a number of customers on the contract of ship building. This entrepreneur of the shipbuilding industry has also taken loans from various banks and financial institutions. But his company FMC Dockyard Limited did not build and hand over the ship as per the contract. The victims complained that the entire money taken from the customers and the banks was smuggled abroad.
It is also alleged that the FMC Dockyard Limited has been operating at the eastern bank of the Karnaphuli River for about a year without renewing the No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Department of Shipping.
The Mercantile Marine Office (MMO) under the shipping department is unable to take any steps against the company as there is no provision of legal action under existing laws.
FMC Dockyard Limited was established in 2006 as a shipbuilding company on 65 acres of land with modern technology and heavy machinery that provided employment for a large number of marine professionals.
Sources from the shipping department said that currently a total of 13 shipyards have government approval, and NOC from the shipping department is mandatory for all these companies. But FMC Dockyard Limited is yet to renew the NOC. Operating a shipyard and dockyard without NOC is illegal.