Barapukuria coal scam: Seven ex-MDs among 23 to be charged by ACC

Bangla Tribune Report
Published : 19:22, Jul 21, 2019 | Updated : 21:16, Jul 21, 2019

This undated photo available on the internet shows a general view of the Barapukuria Coal Mine in Dinajpur.The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has pressed charges against 23 people, including seven former managing directors of the Barapukuria Coal Mining Co Ltd over coal scam at the Dinajpur mine.

On Sunday (Jul 21), the ACC finalised the chargesheet over the disappearance of nearly 144,000 tonnes of coal worth about Tk 2.43 billion from the mine.
ACC Deputy Director Md Shamsul filed the charge sheet with the graft watchdog’s Dinajpur offices, said its spokesperson Deputy Director Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya.

As many as 14 people had been named in the case while names of another nine were included after the probe.

The ACC, however, dropped names of five people from the case.

People who face charges are; former MDs Mahbubur Rahman, Md Abdul Aziz Khan, engineer Khurshidul Hasan, engineer Kamruzzaman, Md Aminuzzaman, Engineer SM Nurul Aurangzeb and Engineer Habib Uddin Ahmed, former general manager Shariful Alam, Md Abul Qasim Pradhania, Abu Taher Md Noor-Uz-Zaman Chowdhury, Manager Masudur Rahman Howlader, Md Arifur Rahman and Syed Iman Hasan, Deputy Manager Muhammad Khalilur Rahman, Md Morsheduzzaman, Md Habibur Rahman, Md Javedur Rahman, assistant manager Satyendra Nath Barman, Md Moniruzzaman, coal handling management manager Shoaibur Rahman, deputy general manager AKM Khaledul Islam, manager Ashok Kumar Haldar and deputy general manager Jobayer Ali
People whose names have been dropped are; manager (exploration) Mosharraf Hossain Sarkar, manager (design, construction and maintenance) Zahidul Islam, deputy manager (safety management) Ekramul Haque, former general manager (finance and accounts) Abdul Mannan Patwari and general manager (finance and accounts) Gopal Chandra Saha.

On Jul 23, the ACC formed a three-member probe panel to look into the 'disappearance of coal' from the Barapukuria coal mine.
The disappearance of coal came to light a few days back when a team from the Power Development Board (PDB) visited the coal mine and found that inadequate reserve of coal in the yard.
As per the official investigation, the stock had a shortage of 144,644 metric tons of coal.
But, the PDB team found only 6,000 tons of coal reserved in the yard which would last for only 2-3 days.
State-owned Petrobangla had never made an inventory of the supply of coal to the nearby Barapukuria power plant in 2006, since the beginning of the Barapukuria coal-mine operation.
The unusual shortage in coal supply led to the shutdown of the Barapukuria power plant triggering huge power cut in the northern region as the plant was the main source of generating electricity.
Petrobangla also formed a three-member inquiry committee to investigate the issue of the coal shortage and suspended a number of BCMCL officials.
The coal production in the Barapukuria coal mine was suspended for about one and half months under a program to change the mining shaft.
On Jul 25, the graft watchdog sued 19 officials of the coal mining company with Dinajpur’s Parbatipur police in connection with the disappearance of 144,644 metric tons of coal from the mine.
According to the first information report (FIR), the officials, in connivance with each other, embezzled the coal worth around Tk 2.42 billion from the mine.