3 years ago

Govt blacklists 14 medical contractors after mask, PPE scams

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The Directorate General of Health Services, under fire over a series of scams, has blacklisted 14 contractors for their alleged involvement with corruption in the purchase of machinery for medical colleges and hospitals.

The move follows an Anti-Corruption Commission investigation and aims at “ensuring proper use of government money as well as bringing transparency to procurement”, the directorate said in a statement on Thursday.

The national anti-graft agency has initiated cases against the 14 firms and their owners. The health ministry recommended action against them in a letter to the directorate on Jun 9.

The directorate wrote to hospitals across Bangladesh ordering them not to involve the blacklisted contractors in procurement, reports

They include Rahman Trade International and Rupa Fashion proprietor Rubina Khanom, wife of suspended DGHS clerk Abjal Hossain.

The ACC prosecuted the couple last year for having illegal wealth of over Tk 340 million and laundering Tk 2.85 billion abroad after earning dirty money through irregularities.

The others blacklisted by the directorate are Abdullah Al Mamun, owner of Anik Traders, Munshi Farrukh Hossain of Ahmed Enterprise, Manzur Ahmed of Manila Medicine and SK Traders, Mosaddek Hossain of MH Pharma, Md Joynal Abedin of Ovi Drugs, Md Alamgir Hossain of Albira Pharmacy, Md Mintu of SM Traders, Md Abdus Sattar Sarker and Md Ahsan Habib of Mercantile Trade International, Md Zaher Uddin Sarker of Bengal Scientific and Surgical Company, Md Asadur Rahman of Universal Trade Corporation, Aftab Ahmed, managing director and CEO of ASL, and Md Moksedul Islam of Blair Aviation.

Irregularities in health sector procurement have come to the fore since the revelation last year that the DGHS bought surgery textbooks, with Tk 5,500 market price per copy, for Tk 85,500 apiece.

Allegations of purchase of substandard masks, personal protective kits and medical equipment for doctors treating COVID-19 patients surfaced after the coronavirus pandemic hit Bangladesh in March this year.

On Wednesday, the ACC questioned the chairman of JMI Hospital Requisite Manufacturing Limited and coordinator of Toma Construction’s medical wing for five hours over N95 mask scams.

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