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Police: Dr Sabrina collected pay as JKG chairman

  • Published at 08:19 pm July 16th, 2020
JKG Health Care Chairman Dr Sabrina Arif Chowdhury
Police take JKG Health Care Chairman Dr Sabrina Arif Chowdhury into custody after interrogating her at DMP Tejgaon Division DC's office in Dhaka on Sunday, July 12, 2020 Focus Bangla

JKG Healthcare has been accused in the Covid-19 test scam, for giving fake reports to patients

JKG Healthcare Chairman Dr Sabrina Sharmin Hussain was paid the organization every month, despite repeatedly refusing that she serves as its chairman.

An official of the Detective Branch (DB) of Police confirmed the matter on Wednesday.

They are in possession of such payslips and are scrutinizing those at the moment, the DB official said.

Sabrina used to get Tk30,000 as salary for being the JKG chairman.

JKG Healthcare is an organization accused in the Covid-19 test scam, where fake reports were given to patients and actual test samples were thrown out.

The Health Ministry has already suspended Dr Sabrina, who was also a cardiac surgeon of the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD), following her arrest on Sunday.

She was suspended for being a chairperson of a private organization which violates the government servant conduct rules.

Sabrina and her husband JKG CEO Ariful Haque Chowdhury are now in remand and DB is in charge of investigating the case.

 They were interrogated on Wednesday night.

On Wednesday, a Dhaka court granted police a four day remand for Ariful to interrogate him about the Covid-19 scam.

Sabrina was placed on a three-day remand which ended on Thursday. A DB official said to the media that they will seek to take her on remand again on Friday.

DB Additional Commissioner (AC) Abdul Baten while speaking to Dhaka Tribune said: “We will investigate how much were Sabrina and Ariful involved in JGK and who performed what kind of responsibilities and how much responsible they were in the Covid-19 test scam.”

JKG was only given approval for sample collection and the tests were supposed to be conducted in another place, the DB official said.

During the primary interrogation, it was found that fake Covid-19 certificates were also being provided along with the sample collection.

“We are investigating to find out how many Covid-19 test certificates they prepared and what number of those fake certificates were actually provided to the patients.

They also embezzled money through telemedicine

“They even embezzled money in the name of providing treatment through telemedicine services. We are trying to find out where they kept the money they embezzled,” Baten added.

Sabrina, Ariful blame each other

Sabrina and Ariful were brought face-to-face at the DB office . At the time, they were blaming one another for ruining their lives. Sabrina was looking restless but Ariful was in a cool and calm manner, The DB AC said. 

Sabrina got angry when Ariful was brought in front of her at the DB office.

At that time, Sabrina blamed Ariful for the condition she is in today. She also denied any involvement in the Covid-19 test scam. 

During the face-to-face confrontation, Ariful said his wife knew everything about the scam, DB officials said.

According to the investigators, the two were interrogated separately. 

However, attempts were carried out to find out what roles they both played in the fraud. These two will face each other again, if further remand is granted for Sabrina. 

Over 2,000 fake results seized

Another DB official said over two 2,000 fake Covid-19 test results were found from Sabrina and Ariful’ seized computers. 

Both of them claimed to be the convener of JKG, though police said there are no such posts in the company.

Ariful claimed that JKG is the sister concern of Oval Group. But they cannot show any legal documentation or registration of JKG, the official said. 

The DB officials opine that Sabrina might have hid the evidence of their wrong-doings after Ariful was arrested on June 23.

Sabrina uses another person’s SIM card

Sabrina uses another person's registered SIM card and used it to exchange text messages with people involved in the fraud, the investigators mentioned.

She claimed she has not given her fingerprints for the NID Smart card yet, therefore, she bought the SIM in her driver’s name, which the DB officials think is untrue.

Supervising officer of the case, DB Deputy Commissioner (Tejgaon division) Golam Mostofa Rasel said they are investigating the matter keeping every possible scenario in mind. They will continue to investigate on the basis of substantial evidence.

ACC deputy director to investigate allegations against Sabrina

The Anti-Corruption Commission also appointed an inquiry officer to further investigate the recent allegations brought against JKG Chairman Sabrina.  She allegedly amassed Tk8 crore illegally through giving fake Covid-19 test results 

The commission appointed its Deputy Director Selina Akter Moni as the inquiry officer regarding the matter on Thursday.

ACC Director (public relations) Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya, confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune.