Home Bangladesh Ex-MP Poton again embezzles about Tk 1,000cr of fertilizer
Bangladesh - October 10, 2023

Ex-MP Poton again embezzles about Tk 1,000cr of fertilizer

ACC forms probe team, asks for documents

Special Correspondent: The much-discussed Narsingdi-2 former Member of Parliament (MP) and owner of contracting company M/s Potton Traders Kamrul Ashraf Khan alias Potton has been accused of looting 184,071 tonnes of fertilizer. The financial value of which is about Tk 1,000 crore.
The officially imported fertilizer was supposed to reach Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) warehouse after release from the port. But it did not arrive. Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has started an investigation into such allegations.
ACC is investigating a separate allegation of embezzling 72,000 tonnes of fertilizer and causing a loss of Tk 582 crore to the government. Which is said to be in the last stage now.
The investigation team of the ACC has already sent a letter to the chairman of BADC asking for records to investigate the new allegations. In the letter, BADC has been asked to submit the records to ACC by October 24. It is said that the letter was sent on October 5.
In this regard, an ACC official saidDaily Industry on condition of anonymity that the investigation is ongoing against Kamrul Ashraf Khan alias Poton for embezzlement of 72 thousand tons of fertilizer worth Tk 582 crore imported by BCIC. Now a new complaint has been received against him for embezzling 184,071 tons of fertilizer from BADC. The value of these fertilizers is about Tk 1,000 crore.
While want to know, the head of the search team Rafikuzzaman told Daily Industry, “Investigation has started. Correspondence has been given. Nothing beyond that can be said at this stage. You contact the PR wing’, though the PR wing said it was not aware of the matter. According to information received from the ACC, Kamrul Ashraf Khan (Poton), owner of fertilizer embezzlement company Potton Traders, is a former member of parliament and president of Bangladesh Fertilizer Association (BFA), a fertilizer traders’ body. He basically controls the fertilizer business in the country. A charge of misappropriation of three types of 184,071 tons of fertilizers in MPO, TSP and DAP worth Tk 1000 crore imported by BADC from abroad in the financial year 2021-22 has been submitted to ACC. A team of three members headed by Rafikuzzaman, Deputy director of the organization to investigate the commission complaint. The other two members of the committee are Assistant Director Md. Ashiqur Rahman and Md. Abul Kalam Azad.
Potton Traders owner Kamrul Ashraf Khan Potton’s mobile phone was contacted to inquire about the complaint, but he was not available.
In a letter to the Chairman of Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC), the ACC requested to submit the requested documents by October 24.
Documents seek
Among the documents sought in the letter are related records along with bill of entry of fertilizer brought from abroad in eight ships during the financial year 2021-22. Copy of draft survey report carried out after the vessel arrived at the port, list of C&F agents attached to the vessel, bill of lading and clearance from mother vessel to lighter vessel, clearance and acceptance record of transport from wharf (lighter vessel) to nearest warehouse, Potton Traders’ Daily and Weekly Statements of Fertilizer Shipments. In this case, the names and designations of the officials who performed the duties, the names, designations and responsibilities of the officers and employees who performed the duties during the period from the arrival at the eight ports (Chittagong and Mongla) to the discharge of fertilizer (in tabular form), Poton Traders Proof of quantity of fertilizers supplied to the warehouse as per the contract and report of non-supply of fertilizers.
Details of legal action taken due to failure of fertilizer to reach warehouse on time as per Potton Traders contract, Fertilizer receiver invoice of eight ships as per contract with Poton Traders, copy of undertaking certificate and MRR, copy of bank guarantee against contract of eight ships with Poton Traders, copy of eight ships Copy of departmental inquiry report from BADC regarding fertilizer embezzlement, copy of transport policies and regulations related to supply of imported fertilizer to warehouse, if any. Apart from this, ACC’s letter has asked to provide any other records in this regard.
Separate inquiry into Tk 582 cr fertilizer loss
The ACC is investigating a separate allegation of embezzling 72,000 tonnes of fertilizer and causing a loss of Tk 582 crore to the government. Which is said to be in the final stage now. The government has imported 393 thousand tons of urea fertilizer from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and United Arab Emirates in the financial year 2021-22 with the aim of delivering fertilizer to the farmers at a fair price and on time. It has been alleged that 72,000 tons of fertilizer has been embezzled by former MP Poton Traders, a contracting company owned by former MP Poton. BCIC’s investigation has revealed that the government has suffered a loss of around Tk 582 crore in this incident.
On January 5 this year, the court directed the ACC for further investigation when the matter of embezzlement of fertilizer was brought to the attention of the High Court. After receiving the order of the High Court, the commission decided to investigate the complaint. In this regard, on March 29, ACC a three-member team headed by Rafikuzzaman has been formed.
Kamrul Ashraf Khan Poton was elected Member of Parliament in Narsingdi-2 seat in 2014 defeating JSD candidate Zaidul Kabir. Zayedul elected as a candidate of the Grand Alliance with the boat symbol. Poton engaged in Awami League politics. Currently, the member of parliament of this constituency is his brother Anwarul Ashraf Khan, who is elected from Awami League.

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