Former insurance regulator and Delta Life Insurance Company's first administrator Sultan-ul-Abedine Molla was sent to jail on Monday as the court of Dhaka's Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Abu Bakar Siddique denied his bail in a case filed accusing him of leading a mask procurement scandal at Delta.
Sultan, a former member of the Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA), bypassed the mandatory tendering process while procuring facemasks worth Tk1.07 crore, while the company's internal rules made tender invitation through national newspaper advertisements a must for over Tk8 lakh worth of procurements, alleged Delta's suspended board's director Zeyad Rahman – the plaintiff.
The plaintiff complained that of the 2.15 lakh masks procured from a third party vendor, alleged to be a relative of Sultan, at Tk50 each in May 2021, only 19,000 pieces were disbursed among the company's zonal offices and the remaining masks were found nowhere.
The procurement was done with a mala fide intention to embezzle the company's money, the plaintiff said, adding that the rate of Tk50 was much higher than the market rate then.
Delta's Deputy Managing Director Md Manzure Mawla, executive vice presidents Kamrul Haque and M Hafizur Rahman Khan were involved in the procurement scandal by approving the purchase, where Sultan as the then administrator ordered the illegal procurement, complained Zeyad Rahman.
Sultan-ul-Abedine appeared before the court on Monday and pleaded for bail, but being denied he was sent to jail.
Earlier, the court assigned the Police Bureau of Investigation to deep dig into the matter and the bureau reported that the defendants committed the alleged crime.
Since Manzure, Kamrul, and Hafizur did not appear before the court despite summons, the court issued arrest warrants against them.
In early 2021, the IDRA suspended Delta Life's board and appointed Sultan as the administrator there.
The members of the suspended board in their legal actions alleged that IDRA Chairman M Mosharraf Hossain asked for grafts and being denied he appointed Sultan as the administrator of the company.
Later, IDRA withdrew Sultan, the second administrator resigned and the third administrator is in charge of the company.