January 30, 2024
DHAKA – Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) today approved the charge sheet against Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus and 13 others in a case filed over misappropriating about Tk 25 crore of Grameen Telecom Workers’ Profit Participation Fund.
Prof Yunus is the chairman of the company.
The charge sheet is likely to be submitted before the Metropolitan Senior Special Judge’s Court of Dhaka tomorrow, Investigation Officer Gulshan Anwar Prodhan, deputy director of ACC, told The Daily Star.
On May 30 last year, Gulshan filed the case against Prof Yunus and 12 others with its integrated district office in Dhaka.
The 13 other accused, who have been named in the charge sheet, are Grameen Telecom Managing Director Nazmul Islam, Directors Ashraful Hassan, Naznin Sultana, Parvin Mahmud, M Shahjahan, Nurjahan Begum, and SM Huzzatul Islam Latifee, Sramik-Karmachari Union President Kamruzzaman, General Secretary Firoz Mahmud Hasan and representative Mainul Islam, Jatiya Workers’ Federation office secretary Kamrul Hasan, lawyers Zafrul Hasan Sharif and Yusuf Ali.
Of them, Kamrul was not a FIR named accused in the case; but his name was included in the charge sheet as his involvement was found during the investigation.
According to the case statement, during the company’s 108th board meeting, presided over by Prof Yunus on May 9, 2022, it was decided that a bank account would be opened to distribute Tk 437 crore among the employees as per its agreement with the Grameen Telecom Sramik Karmachari Union.
Sramik-Karmachari Union President Kamruzzmaan and General Secretary Firoz Mahmud signed the agreement on April 27 last year and the account was opened on May 8 with the Dhaka Bank’s Gulshan branch.
“Since the bank account was opened after the signing of the agreement, the account number was not supposed to be mentioned in the agreement. But the account number was mentioned proving that the agreement was fake,” reads the case statement.
“The Grameen Telecom chairman and the board members, in association with each other, produced the fake agreement to help misappropriate money and thus committed a crime under the Money Laundering Prevention Act,” it adds.
“About Tk 364 crore was distributed among 156 employees between May 25 and June 12, 2022. However, about Tk 26.22 crore was transferred to another account with Dutch-Bangla Bank between May 17 and May 30 that year,” reads the case statement.
“The money was transferred to another account without any written or verbal approval from the employees. From that account, the money was transferred to the personal accounts of the employees’ union leaders and lawyers,” added the case statement.
The ACC found that about Tk 1 crore was lawyers’ fees and the rest of the money was misappropriated by the employee union leaders and lawyers.