A Dhaka court on Monday granted bail to five Destiny Group high-ups including its managing director till submission of probe reports in two money laundering cases.
Metropolitan Magistrate Mohammad Erfan Ullah passed the order after the accused surrendered before it seeking bail in the cases in the morning.
The accused are: Destiny Group Managing Director Mohammad Rafiqul Amin and Director Lt Gen (rtd) M Harunur Rashid; Destiny 2000 Chairman Mohammad Hossain and its two directors Gofranul Huq and Sayed-ur Rahman.
On July 31, Anti-Corruption Commission sued 22 officials of Destiny Group for laundering Tk 3,285.26 crore by cheating investors.
They surrendered before the court around 10:00am and filed two separate bail petitions in connection with the two cases.
The accused sought bail after their surrender as police would arrest them without issuance of an arrest warrant by a court since the offences they allegedly committed are cognisable.
As per rule, police would arrest a suspected accused if the offences are cognisable.
ACC Deputy Director Mozahar Ali Sarder filed a case with the capital’s Kalabagan Police Station against 12 Destiny Group officials for laundering about Tk 2106.64 crore out of Destiny Tree Plantation Ltd project.
ACC Assistant Director Towfiqul Islam filed another case against 22 top officials of the company, including the 12 accused in the first case, for laundering Tk 1178.61 crore from Destiny Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd (DMCSL).
After filing of the cases, ACC Deputy Director Mozahar Ali Sardar at a press briefing at its Segunbagicha office said the DTPL authorities illegally collected Tk 2335.74 crore from people by selling 6.18 crore trees through multilevel marketing between March, 2006 and April this year.
In its probe, the ACC found that Tk 2106.64 crore were laundered from the DTPL project in the name of salary, honorarium, dividend, commission, incentive and promotional cost, he said.
The DMCSL authorities embezzled Tk 1178.61 crore by cheating people and transferred the money to other non-profitable and non-operational companies of Destiny Group, said ACC Assistant Director Towfiqul.
He said the commission filed the second case against the Destiny officials for violating the Cooperatives Act by transferring money to other non-profitable and non-operational companies.
The ACC officials said only Tk 56 lakh and another Tk 4.87 crore were left with the two bank accounts of the DMCSL and the DTPL after the company officials transferred the huge amount of money.
They said the Destiny officials tricked people into investing money in the DTPL project, saying if anyone invested Tk 8,000 under a “golden package,” the person would get Tk 20,000 after six years with a 72.46 percent interest.
And under the company’s “silver package”, the investor would get Tk 30,000 against an investment of Tk 5,000 after 12 years with a 195.74 percent interest.
The Destiny officials took a commission of Tk 4,260 to 4,300 from each investment of Tk 8,000 and a commission of Tk 3,775 from each investment of Tk 5,000.
Employees of Destiny Group on Monday threatened that they have not fallen from the sky and will come up with befitting answer to prove their power and presence.
They claimed the news against the controversial group is wrong and believed vested interests are behind the propaganda.
“We have 45 lakh distributors across the country. We’ll wait till the Eid-ul-Fitr to see whether our bank accounts are opened or not,” Saifur Rahman Tipu, general manager, marketing, sales and operation told a press conference at the National Press Club.
Tipu claimed 3,000 employees of Destiny Group are not getting their salaries for the past three months due to freeze of its bank accounts by the central bank and the revenue board.
But he failed to answer how many of Destiny’s bank accounts have been seized, which once again proved that the controversial group lacks transparency and accountability.
The press conference was overcrowded as Destiny gathered its employees and distributors there.