ACC case against Destiny MD needs speedy settlement

How does a prisoner sit in the prison cell of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and attend a Zoom meeting? Does any law exist in the country? Rafiqul Amin, managing director of the much-discussed and controversial multileveled marketing company (MLM) Destiny 2000 Limited, came to the hospital prison cell to seek medical treatment but actually attended in a Zoom meeting, according to media reports. Even more worrying is that no government agency was aware about Rafiqul Amin's activities before.

After the news of Rafiqul Amin's Zoom meeting spread on social media, the government came to its senses. The government has withdrawn eight jailers, including the chief jailer in charge at BSMMU. In addition, four people have been suspended. It has been noticed earlier that the jail administration conducts regular investigations after any crime has been committed in the jail or prison cell, but ultimately the crime does not stop. Earlier this year, a convict spent time with a woman in Kashimpur Jail with the help of the authorities there.

Was it only the jail guards involved in Rafiqul Amin's case, or did it happen with the cooperation of a senior official? Without the connivance of senior officials, no one can attend a Zoom meeting in a prison cell. The formation of a routine inquiry committee or the light punishment of two or four lower level staffs will not eradicate the irregularities and corruption that have spread through the prisons and the prison administration.

Rafiqul Amin was arrested in October 2012 in a money laundering case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). The allegation against him is that the total assets of Destiny Multipurpose Co-operative Society Limited were Tk 33.5 billion. He and his associates collected Tk 19.01 billion from the people and withdrew Tk 18.61 billion in the name of dividends, honorariums and salaries. According to the court order, the police have been given the responsibility of maintaining and supervising the huge amount of tangible and intangible property in the name of Destiny since 2013.

Destiny has taken million from a large number of people in the name of MLM business. The victims have been protesting for their money. Government officials also promised to recover money from Destiny. No one has received a refund yet.

According to Prothom Alo, Rafiqul Amin was in the prison cell of the hospital for three months. If a prisoner falls ill, he is taken to a hospital outside the jail for treatment. But that does not mean he will be in the prison cell for months. He will have to return to jail after completing the necessary treatment.

Writer Mushtaq Ahmed died in prison. The jail authorities did not take him out of the jail for medical treatment. But a controversial businessman like Rafiqul Amin went out of jail in the name of medical treatment and held a Zoom meeting violating the prevailing law of the country.

The court ordered that Destiny's assets be kept in police custody. This is a temporary measure. But the victims who have been cheated by the company are the real owners of Destiny's assets. The ACC case needs to be disposed of immediately to ensure that Destiny's assets are returned to the victims and that the perpetrators are punished.