The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has summoned five medical equipment suppliers for interrogation as a part of its enquiry into allegations of corruption in the purchasing of masks, personal protective equipment (PPE) and other materials.
Mir Mohammad Zainul Abedin Sebly, director of the ACC and head of the enquiry team, on Wednesday sent separate letters to the suppliers asking them to face ACC interrogators.
Md Abdur Razzak, chairman of JMI Hospital Requisite Manufacturing Ltd; Md Matiur Rahman, coordinator (medical team) of Toma Construction Ltd; and Aminul Islam Amin, chairman and managing director of Elan Corporation have been asked to be present at the ACC's Segunbagicha head office in the capital on July 8.
The corruption watchdog asked Md Humayun Kabir, director of Mediteck Imaging Ltd; and Motazzerul Islam Mithu, chairman of the Dhaka International Medical College Hospital and owner of Lexican Merchandise and Technocrat Ltd to appear before the enquiry team on July 9.
On June 18, the ACC formed a four-member team to enquire allegations of corruption centring the purchases of N95 masks and PPE. The probe panel is headed by ACC Director Mir Zainul Abedin Shebly, while Deputy Director Nurul Huda, and assistant directors Saiduzzaman and Ataur Rahman are the other members of the committee.
The team on June 21 sent letters to the secretary of the Health Services Division, the director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and the director of the Central Medical Stores Depot (CMSD).
In its letter to the ministry, the ACC sought information regarding purchases of facemasks, PPE, sanitisers, ICU equipment, ventilators, PCR machines, Covid-19 test kits and other health equipment since the coronavirus outbreak began in the country in March this year.
The commission also sought information and documents regarding the projects, allotted money, and the organizations that implemented these projects.
Information was also sought about doctors who have been transferred since March 26 this year with detailed list and their previous and present workstations and contact numbers.
Related information and documents were sought from the DGHS and the CMSD bosses.
In the first week of April, a social media storm erupted over allegations of a supply of substandard masks to several state-run hospitals instead of N95 masks.
On April 20, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a videoconference expressed her annoyance over the controversy and ordered a probe into the matter. The Health Services Division formed a probe committee on that very day to investigate the allegations.
The committee headed by M Saidur Rahman, additional secretary (development) to the Health Services Division, submitted its report 9 days later.