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Dhaka Wednesday,  Dec 19, 2018

DS Ruhul Amin Sent To Jail For Power Plant ‘Embezzlement’


Md Ruhul Amin, who is now deputy secretary at the Economic Relations Division, has been sent to jail on charges of embezzling Tk 462 million after seeing his appeal for bail extension rejected.

Ruhul Amin allegedly embezzled the money from Matarbari coal-fired power plant project when he was deputy commissioner of Cox’s Bazar district in 2014.

He appeared before the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Cox’s Bazar, Md Toufique Aziz, and sought extension of his bail granted by the High Court on Monday.

But the magistrate threw out his petition and ordered him into jail.

His name appeared in media reports last year when departmental actions were taken against him for inefficiency and misconduct.

During his tenure as the DC of Cox’s Bazar from September, 2012 to February 2015, the government acquired 1414 acres of land for the Matarbari coal power plant project in Maheshkhali Upazila.

In November 2014, the government assessed that the owners of the land lost Tk 2.37 billion to the acquisition.

Siraj Ullah, the lawyer for Anti Corruption Commission, said around Tk 462 million had been fixed as the compensation for 25 shrimp farms, which he says did not exist.

Over Tk 198.2 million was withdrawn using fake cheques against the shrimp farms, and the process of withdrawing around Tk 263.2 million more was under way when the swindling was detected, according to Siraj.

AKM Kaisarul Islam, a businessman in Matarbari, filed a complaint at Cox’s Bazar District and Sessions Judge’s Court against the then DC Ruhul Amin, additional DC Zafar Alam, and 26 others on Nov 20, 2014 over the withdrawal of the money.

The former ADC Zafar Alam is now senior assistant secretary at the public administration ministry. The ACC arrested him in Dhaka on May 8.

The national graft-busting agency launched an investigation into the allegation following an order by the court and prosecuted 36, including Ruhul Amin, in court.

The ACC lawyer Siraj Ullah said Ruhul Amin was granted bail by the High Court for six weeks.

When his bail period ended, the magistrate’s court ordered him to surrender within two weeks.

But he turned up after three weeks and the court rejected his plea to extend the bail, Ullah added.

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