Graft Allegations: ACC quizzes former DG of DGHS for over 4 hrs | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 13, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:43 AM, August 13, 2020

Graft Allegations: ACC quizzes former DG of DGHS for over 4 hrs

The Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday questioned former director general of Directorate General of Health Services Prof Dr Abul Kalam Azad for about four and a half hours over corruption allegations.

A team led by ACC Director Mir Md Zainul Abedin Shebly grilled Azad at its Segunbagicha headquarters.

The ACC also quizzed former DGHS director Dr Aminul Hasan and two others, confirmed Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya, the anti-graft body's public relations officer.

"Our officers gleaned information. But for the sake of proper enquiry, we cannot disclose it at this moment," he said.

Prof Azad will also be quizzed today.

On August 6, the ACC summoned Azad and four others.

One letter, signed by ACC Director Zainul, reads that there are allegations against Azad of misappropriating a huge amount of money through the procurement of substandard masks, personal protective equipment, and other necessary equipment for the doctors involved in Covid-19 treatment.

Another letter, signed by its director Sheikh Md Fanafillah, reads that Regent Hospital chairman Md Shahed has amassed illegal wealth by issuing fake Covid-19 certificates. "For the sake of proper investigation, it is necessary to record your [Azad's] statement," it added.

Amid severe criticism and scams related to Covid-19 testing, Prof Azad stepped down as the DGHS director general on July 21.

In his resignation letter, he cited heath grounds as he has been suffering from chronic kidney disease for long.

Prof Azad had been the DGHS chief since September 2016.

The resignation came amid a rift between the health ministry and the health directorate over signing a deal with Regent Hospital, which has been at the centre of the Covid-19 testing scam.

The DGHS signed an MoU with Regent in March, turning it into a dedicated Covid-19 hospital, in a ceremony attended by Health Minister Zahid Maleque and many high officials.

The DGHS was aware that the hospital's licence had expired six years ago.

On July 7, a Rab mobile court raided Regent Hospital's Uttara branch and sealed it off. The court said it found proof that the hospital issued several thousand fake Covid-19 test reports, which prompted the rift.

The branch was sealed off in connection with issuing fake Covid-19 test certificates and collecting money from patients.

Later, the DGHS shut down the hospital's branches in Uttara and Mirpur. 

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