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  • Last Update : 09:24 am

JKG Covid-19 test scam: DB to press charges against Dr Sabrina, Arif, 6 others

  • Published at 03:33 pm August 4th, 2020
JKG Health Care Chairman Dr Sabrina Arif Chowdhury
File photo: Police take JKG Health Care Chairman Dr Sabrina Arif Chowdhury to the court on Monday, July 13, 2020 Md Sanaul Islam Tipu/Dhaka Tribune

Sabrina was suspended from the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases

The Detective Branch (DB) of police is going to submit a chargesheet against eight JKG Health Care officials, including Dr Sabrina Arif Chowdhury and her husband Arif Chowdhury, after finding evidence of their involvement in a Covid-19 test forgery scam.

The law enforcement agency might submit the charge sheet on Wednesday, said DB Joint Commissioner Mahbub Alam.

DB sources said Ariful, his wife Sabrina, sister Jebunnesa Rima, and brother-in-law Shafiqul Islam will be included in the chargesheet.

Former JKG official Humayun Kabir and his wife Tanzina Patwari, who were previously arrested for their involvement in the scam, have already given their confessional statements in court. These two, along with two other employees of the organization, will also be included.

DB Deputy Commissioner (Tejgaon division) Golam Mostofa Rasel said all eight have been arrested, and three of them have confessed to their crimes in court.

“We are almost finished with our investigation. The chargesheet will be submitted on Monday,” he added.

On June 23, a case was filed in connection with the fake Covid-19 report scam against six people including JKG Health Care Chief Executive Officer Ariful Chowdhury, with the Tejgaon police station.

Police arrested Ariful and five other former and current employees of the organization on the same day.  Sabrina was later arrested on July 12 after police were informed of her alleged involvement.

Sabrina was suspended from the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases. She and her husband Ariful were remanded twice.

Also Read- ‘Regent, JKG scams have tarnished Bangladesh’s image’

Deputy Commissioner Rasel said they have collected concrete evidence through forensic tests.

In a briefing held a couple of days earlier, senior DB official Abdul Baten stated that police have conducted tests on the seized laptops and other devices in the CID lab, and collected concrete proof of the test report forgery. 

JKG had collected 13,585 Covid-19 samples, and of those, 11,660 were recorded in their database, Baten said.

The investigation found that 1,925 Covid-19 certificates were issued without even collecting samples, let alone testing. These certificates were issued after merely observing the symptoms of people, Baten said, adding that JKG used to send these fabricated reports to people through a fake email server.

The organization gave some of the reports after actually testing them, said investigators.

Baten also said JKG is not an approved organization; it does not have any valid documents or a board of directors.

During the investigation, detectives have also interrogated DGHS Additional Director Nasima Sultana about the contract with JKG Health Care. She claimed that the recently resigned DGHS director Abul Kalam Azad was aware of the contract. 

The investigators, however, failed to interrogate Azad concerning the matter. 

Rasel said since this is a high profile case, they have informed senior police officials about their findings regarding the involvement of health department officials’, and details might be shared with concerned health authorities. 

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