A Dhaka court has rejected the bail plea of Abzal Hossain, a suspended accounts officer of the Directorate General of Health Services (medical education), in two cases of amassing a large amount of illegal assets, and has sent him to jail.
Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge KM Imrul Kayes passed the order after Abzal surrendered before court today and applied for anticipatory bail through his lawyer.
Following the hearing, the court rejected his bail application and ordered him to be sent to jail, Abzal Hossain's lawyer Shahinur Islam confirmed the matter to The Business Standard.
Earlier, on June 27, 2019, the Anti Corruption Commission's (ACC) Deputy Director Taufiqul Islam filed two cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act- 1947 and the Money Laundering Act-2012, at its Dhaka integrated district office-1 at the capital's Segunbagicha area. Abzal had been on the run since then.
In the two cases, allegations have been levelled against Abzal and his wife Rubina Khanam for embezzling illegal assets worth Tk36 crore and laundering money equivalent to some Tk284 crore through long-term transfers, conversion and exchange.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has accused Abzal of embezzling Tk4 crore and concealing the information about assets worth Tk2.21 crore in his statement submitted to the ACC. In another case against the Abzal couple, ACC charged them for amassing Illicit assets worth Tk31 crore, and for concealing information on property worth Tk5 crore.
According to the case statement, Abzal went for accumulating wealth in the name of his wife to protect himself from coming under the corruption scanner, making her wealthier than him. No legitimate sources of these funds were to be found.
The evidence of money laundering of Tk20 crore against Abzal and Tk284 crore against his wife Rubina Khanam was found in the ACC's deposition.
Last year on January 22, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) seized all of their movable and immovable properties by halting transactions, froze their bank accounts and barred them from travelling abroad, as per the court's order.
Abzal Hossain, who is currently suspended over the corruption charges, was the administration officer (accounts) at the Medical Education Department of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). His wife Rubina Khanam, a former stenographer under the Education and Health Manpower Development branch of the health directorate, has been doing business with DGHS as the owner of an organisation called 'Rahman Trade International' since 2000.
Abzal's salary had been around Tk30,000, who was originally appointed as a clerk. Yet he and his wife have reportedly got assets with a market value of more than a thousand crore, including five houses in Uttara, one in Sydney, Australia and 24 other properties across the country.