Farida Khatun (32), officer-in-charge of OCLSD, was arrested in Hatena along with 600 sacks of rice while she was breaking a government rice bag and packing it in a plastic bag inside the Babuganj Upazila food warehouse in Barisal for sale on the black market.
Police have also arrested his accomplice Mofazzal Khan. Apart from 20 metric tonnes of government rice packed in 600 sacks, 506 empty rice sacks sealed by the Ministry of Food and a pair of pigeon and 1000 pieces of miniket rice with dolphin markers were recovered from them.
On Friday (January 8), Upazila Food Controller Rubina Parveen filed a case with Babuganj Police Station accusing five people including Farida Khatun, her associate Mofazzal Khan and local ward Awami League president Rasul Jamaddar.
The joint operation was carried out at the Upazila Food Warehouse on Thursday (January 8) night under the leadership of the District Food Controller, UNO and OC on the basis of secret information. The arrested is Farida Khatun’s house on Darga Road in Bhola municipality area and another accused Mofazzel Khan, a resident of Rajguru village in Babuganj upazila, is one of the members of the government rice smuggling syndicate in the food warehouse, police said.
According to police, eyewitnesses and food department sources, Farida Khatun, sub-inspector of food department, joined Babuganj Upazila Food Warehouse Officer-in-Charge (OCLSD) and brought her husband Kabir Hossain from Bhola. Through her husband, for about two long years, she used to sell the government rice in the Upazila food warehouse by changing the sacks in the dark of night and taking it to different rice stalls in different parts of the country. In contrast to various projects including VGD, TR, Kabikha, he used to buy government-allocated rice DO from the chairman-members and project presidents and keep it in government food warehouse No. 3
Besides, in the government’s paddy procurement program, she used to squander government money by collecting low quality paddy from the northern region through her husband without buying paddy from the farmers of Babuganj. He formed a strong theft syndicate in Babuganj with 8-10 local brokers to carry out these misdeeds without any hesitation. The district food controller said that the food ministry decided to arrest him after receiving these serious allegations against him.
Barisal District Food Controller (DC Food) said. Tajul Islam said the Food Ministry was planning to arrest Farida Khatun, OCLSD of Babuganj, after receiving allegations of serious irregularities and corruption. According to him, a joint operation was conducted on Thursday night with the UNO of Babuganj and the OC of the police station at the Upazila food warehouse on the basis of information obtained through secret sources.
OCLSD Farida Khatun and her accomplice Mofazzel Khan were arrested and handcuffed while they were exchanging 50 kg sacks of government sealed rice for sale on the black market and packing 25 kg sacks of plastic miniket rice of two companies named Kabutar and Dolphin Marca. As a measure, a regular case was filed with the Upazila Food Controller.
Babuganj Upazila Executive Officer (UNO) said. Aminul Islam said that after receiving the news, they arrived at the Upazila Food Warehouse and recovered about 20 metric tons of government rice in 800 sacks arranged for smuggling in Warehouse No. 3. To facilitate the smuggling, the government sealed sacks were replaced with miniket rice sacks. At the same time, 508 empty sealed sacks of the Ministry of Food and 1000 plastic sacks with the best miniket rice in the market were recovered from the food warehouse at the same time. At that time, the warehouse was sealed with DC Food and AC Land.
Babuganj police officer in charge (OC) said. Mahbubur Rahman said OCLSD Farida Khatun and her accomplice Mofazzal Khan were arrested from the food warehouse on the spot. Besides, 600 sacks of rice and various signs of crime were seized.
After receiving a written complaint from Upazila Food Controller Rubina Parveen on behalf of the Food Department, case No. 2 of Babuganj Police Station was filed against 5 named and 2-3 unknown accused. The OC also said that the two arrested accused would be sent to jail through the court.