A metropolitan magistrate’s court on Monday granted bail to five top Destiny Group bosses, including its managing director Mohammad Rafiqul and president former army chief retired lieutenant general Harun-or- Rashid in two cases.
Magistrate Mohammad Erfan Ullah passed the order after the five Destiny Group bosses — Harun-or- Rashid, Rafiqul Amin, Destiny chairman Mohammad Hossain and directors Gofranul Huq and Sayed-ur Rahman — surrendered in the court and sought bail in the two cases.
The bail would remain effective until the police submits its reports, the court said.
Moving their bail petitions, lawyer Nazibullah Hiru and Easanul Haq Samaji submitted that the Destiny bosses did not siphon out any money, rather they only transferred the money for paying dividends to investors and distributors and the salary, bonus and other benefits to Destiny officials.
Their bail petition was opposed by additional public prosecutor Mohammad Kabir Hossain and Anti-Corruption Commission lawyer Rafiqul Islam Mithu on the ground that the Metropolitan Magistrate’s court had no jurisdiction to entertain the petition.
They pointed out that the Money Laundering Prevention Act of 2012 stipulates that no court, except the special judge’s court, has the jurisdiction to entertain this type of bail petition.
The petitioners’ lawyers contended that the accused had the right to move the bail petition before the metropolitan magistrate as the charges against them were still under investigation.
On August 1, the court took the ACC cases into cognisance.
The court directed the Investigation Officer to submit the probe progress report of the first case on Sep 20 and of the second case on Sep 23.
On July 31, ACC Assistant Director Md Towfiqul Islam and Deputy Director Mozahar Ali Sardar filed two cases with Kalabagan Police Station against 22 Destiny officials on charges of embezzling more than Tk 32.85 billion deposited by hundreds of clients of Destiny. They also face the charge that they laundered the funds.
The complainants in the cases alleged that the Destiny officials misappropriated the money in the names of Destiny Tree Plantation Project and Destiny Multipurpose Cooperative Society.
According to the ACC law, if the allegation of misappropriation is proved, the accused will have to pay the victims double the money they took from them.
The ACC law stipulates that the accused could be sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment and seizure of the movable and immovable property if the allegations against them were proved.
-With New Age input