July 23, 2024, 11:09 am

Indictment in embezzlement case: Yunus to go to High Court

  • Update Time : Thursday, June 13, 2024
  • 18 Time View
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TDS Desk:

Nobel Prize-winning Grameen Telecom Chairman Muhammad Yunus will appeal to the High Court against his indictment in a case over embezzlement from dividends for the company’s employees, his lawyers said.

The court of Dhaka 4th Special Judge Syed Arafat Hossain indicted Yunus and 13 others in the case on Wednesday.

Yunus’s lawyer Barrister Abdul Al Mamun told bdnews24.com on Thursday, “We are preparing to go to the High Court. We will challenge the validity of the indictment and seek a cancellation of the order after Eid-ul-Azha.”

When asked whether the appeal would be a writ or quash, he said, “It could be a writ, a quash or a review application.”

Gulshan Anwar Pradhan, deputy director of the Anti-Corruption Commission, initiated the case in 2023. According to his probe report, the accused ‘embezzled’ over Tk 250 million from the Grameen Telecom workers’ welfare fund. The money has been ‘transferred illegally’, which is a crime per the country’s money laundering prevention law.

According to the case dossiers, an account was opened at Dhaka Bank’s Gulshan branch in the presence of Grameen Telecom board members including Yunus and Managing Director Md Nazmul Islam following the decision of the 108th board held on May 9, 2022. However, the bank account was opened a day earlier.

A settlement agreement was signed between the Grameen Telecom Employees Union and Grameen Telecom on Apr 27 of that year to distribute dividends owed to Grameen Telecom employees.

The case statement said the settlement also shows the bank account was opened on May 8, which is practically impossible. According to the terms of the ‘fake’ settlement and decision of the 108th board, Grameen Telecom transferred Tk 4.37 billion from United Commercial Bank’s Mirpur branch to Dhaka Bank’s Gulshan branch on May 10, 2022.

The transfer of another Tk 10 million as an advocate’s fee was approved later according to the decision of the 109th board held on Jun 22.

On the other hand, more than Tk 260 million was transferred in three phases from Dhaka Bank’s Gulshan branch account to Dutch Bangla Bank’s local office account named after the Grameen Telecom Workers Union.

However, Tk 30 million each was transferred to Dutch Bangla Bank’s Mirpur branch accounts of Grameen Telecom Workers-Employees Union President Md Kamruzzaman, the organisation’s General Secretary Firoz Mahmud Hasan and representative Md Mainul Islam at different times before the distribution of dividends to the employees without informing them of the amount they were due for a ‘dishonest purpose’.

Accordingly, Tk 40 million was transferred to the Commercial Bank of Ceylon’s Dhanmondi branch account of lawyer Md Yusuf Ali, Tk 50 million to the City Bank’s Gulshan branch account and Tk 60 million to the joint account of lawyer Jafrul Hasan Sharif and lawyer Md Yusuf Ali in Standard Chartered Bank’s Gulshan North branch, which was not due to them.

According to the ACC, only Tk 10 million was transferred as advocates’ fees. The remaining Tk 252.2 million, was ‘misappropriated’ by the Grameen Telecom chairman, managing director, Grameen Telecom’s CBA leader and advocates with help from board members by breaching the settlement agreement.

 

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