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More contactors are being blacklisted

10 health sector contactors embezzle Tk 2,000cr in 5 yrs

Published : 02 Jul 2020 10:09 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 10:53 AM

Amid severe criticism against massive corruption and malpractices in the health sector, the Anti-CorruptionCommission (ACC) is going to prepare another list of ‘corrupt’ contractors of the health sector.

After finalizing the new list, these contractors will also be blacklisted, a highly placed source at the ACC told this correspondent.
Earlier, the health ministry blacklisted 14 contractors of the health sector for their links with embezzling crores of government funds. But mysteriously some corrupt contractors were out of the black list. Amid increasing criticisms inside the government, investigations have started again. Within few days, these contractors will also be blacklisted, the sources said.

Ten controversial contractors allegedly embezzled around Tk 2,000 crores from the health sector by showing the prices of medical equipment several times higher than the market prices.

According to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), these corrupt contractors were awarded the most of the big contracts for supplying medical equipment and constructing various medical colleges and hospitals in the country for the last five years.

The ACC investigation revealed that some officials of the health ministry were also involved with the corrupt syndicate.
Munshi Sajjad Hossain, an administrative officer of the Chest Disease Hospital, has allegedly five licenses. However, he has no license in his own name. Sazzad made five licenses using the names of his five close relatives.

According to the ACC, these five contractors were given contracts of supplying medical equipment to various medical colleges and hospitals in Dhaka and Faridpur.

Crores of money were misappropriated by showing the prices of medical equipment several times higher than the market prices. Recently, five companies of Sazzad were blacklisted along with 14 other corrupt contractors.

Not only Sazzad, many other such contractors are in the black list of the ACC. But still some corrupt contractors are kept outside the black list though the charges against all of them are the same.

Contractor Zaher Uddin Sarkar has three companies. These are: Bengal Scientific, Mercantile Trade and Universal Trade, only one of these companies is owned by him in black and white and two others are in the name of his relatives.

Zaher Uddin alone embezzled around Tk 250 crore by showing additional bills in the name of these organizations.
And the most talked about contractor in the health sector is third class employee Abzal Hossain. He embezzled around Tk 200 crore through three anonymous contractors. Abzal along with his wife is now absconding after being accused in several graft cases.

ACC sources said, not only Sazzad, Zaher or Abzal, there are seven other influential contractors in the health sector. The seven contractors also misappropriated Tk 1,500 crore by showing extra cost of equipment in various medical colleges and hospitals. In last five years, over Tk two thousand crore were embezzled by these corrupt contactors in association with some corrupt officials of the health ministry.

Professor Abul Kalam Azad, Director General of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), told that the ACC is investigating these allegations and has given them a list of 14 blacklisted contractors.

The banned contractors are – Rubina Khanom of Rahman Trade International and Rupa Fashions, Abdullah Al Mamun of Anik Traders, Munshi FakhrulHossen of Ahmed Enterprise, Manjur Ahmed of Manila Medicine and SK Traders, Mosaddek Hosen of HM Pharma, Md Joynal Abedin of Ovi Drugs, Md Alamgir Hosen of Albira Pharmacy, Md Mintu of SM Traders, Md Abdus Sattar Sarker and Md Ahsan Habib of Mercantile Trade International, Mohammad Jaher Uddin Sarker of Bengal Scientific and Surgical Co, Md Asadur Rahman of Universal Trade Corporation, Aftab Ahmed of ASL and Md Moksedul Islam of Bair Aviation.

ACC Chairman Iqbal Mahmud said all contractors, who were involved in embezzling government funds, will face serious actions.
He disclosed that more contractors in the health sector are going to be blacklisted.