Mon, 25 Sep 2023

Dhaka, [Bangladesh], July 31 (ANI): Bangladesh Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has initiated investigations against Professor Yunus' Grameen Telecom (GT) and its board of directors in connection with the Tk 3,000 crore money laundering case.

ACC secretary Mahbub Hasan said, "the money was allegedly embezzled by transferring it to the accounts of other affiliated companies of Grameen Telecom. The allegations brought forth by the department include -- embezzling five per cent of the money allotted for employees, illegally deducting lawyers' fees and other fees from the salaries of workers, embezzling more than Tk 45.52 crore from the welfare fund for workers and employees, and laundering Tk 2,977 crore from the company," the statement read.

However, the allegations against Grameen Telecom and its director levelled in the complaint are basically irregularities and money laundering.

"The allegations include misappropriation of 5 per cent of the dividend reserved for distribution among workers/employees through irregularities, illegal deduction of 6 per cent as advocate fee and other charges during payment of arrears of workers/employees, funds without disbursement and embezzlement," he added.

"The amount of interest for embezzlement of money by transferring money from the company to the bank accounts of various subsidiaries for the purpose of money laundering amounting to Tk 2,977 crore," ACC secretary Mahbub Hasan told ANI.

The employees of Grameen Telecom took to the streets for demonstration immediately after the probe was announced, demanding their rights and welfare.

Bangladesh Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus is the founding chair of Grameen Telecom and he has a major stake in Bangaldesh largest mobile operators (GT). He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2006 for his idea of micro-finance loans to millions of rural women through the Grameen Bank, which he founded in the 1980s.

Responding to the media queries that Muhammad Yunus is to be quizzed in the above case, ACC Secretary Mahmud Hasan replied, "After the appointment of the investigating officer, you will get to know who is involved and the officer will do everything as per the rules and regulations of the commission. The investigating officer will collect information in this regard from the (four) members of the board of directors," the ACC secretary said.

The allegations and probes against the Nobel Laureate and his organizations are not new. Apart from those, PM Sheikh Hasina repeatedly accused Dr Yunus of blocking the World Bank finance for Padma Bridge to secure his MD post.

Notably, Muhammad Yunus has consistently denied influencing the lender's decision on the project. (ANI)

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