Real estate industry under ACC scanner

Dipu Sarwar
Published : 06:00, Aug 15, 2019 | Updated : 06:00, Aug 15, 2019

A general view of Anti-Corruption Commission head office in Dhaka’s Segunbagicha. SAZZAD HOSSAIN/File PhotoThe real estate industry is in crisis. It faces a myriad of allegations including: construction of flats that do not adhere to the original plan, delay in the handover of flat to owners and other aberrations.
Attaching importance to the construction of flats outside the approved plan, the Anti Corruption Commission, ACC, has begun operation, said ACC deputy director (public relations) Pranab Kumar Bharyacharya.
He has said that more than 106 complaints have come to ACC’s hotline on the matter. Meanwhile, government approved real estate agency, Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) has said that they have 500 complaints. REHAB has 1,054 members who sell 11,000 flats every year. Shital Properties has flouted RAJUK approved design and constructed Shital Grand Palace. The ACC sent a notice and then carried out a drive on Jul 18.
A final warning was given by ACC and the RAJUK zone-6 officer was told to go for eviction if rules are not adhered to. In similar fashion, ACC also found irregularities in the construction of a building in Mohammadpur.
REHAB vice president Liaqat Ali Bhuiyan says: “If we get complaints then we look into them and take necessary steps.”
REHAB says that most complaints are related to delay in the handover of flats. There are instances when real estate agents sold commercial space of buildings to be constructed and then disappeared with the money. In many cases, developers only construct the building but leave all other work like placement of transformers, generators, solar panels, lifts and, intercoms to flat buyers.
In such cases, buyers do not get any support from REHAB or law enforcers though the revenue in this sector comes from buyers of flats and not the real estate agents.
There are also a variety of scams related to flat purchase and one such involves a fly by night company called Trans Alliance Technology Limited. Entering the market in 2009, this organisation declared flat sales in upmarket areas like Gulshan, Baridhara and Uttara. From 2010 till 2016, they took money from their clients ranging between Tk 5 million to Tk 70 million. After making Tk 500 million, the company vanished.
As per the registration of the company, the owner is Khondokar Rais Uddin Ahmed and the MD is his wife, Nurana Ahmed. The address of the office is 107 Motijheel Commercial Area though it’s found to be a hoax.
The company had an office at the Suvastu Tower in Gulshan while taking registration from REHAB but that office does not exist anymore.
The Police Bureau of Investigation, PBI, has found seven cases of fraud against Trust Alliance. As per REHAB, in 2018, membership of eight developers were cancelled in 2018, and four in 2017 for a wide range of irregularities.