A Dhaka court sentenced former Army Chief of Bangladesh Harun-Ar- Rashid and 46 officials of the Destiny-2000 company to varying jail terms on Thursday on charges of money laundering. The case relates to the embezzlement of Taka 1861 crore by Destiny Tree Plantation Limited which had collected money from more than 8.5 lakh investors for the project.
Destiny 2000 Managing Director Mohammad Rafiqul Amin was sentenced t0 12 years and fined Taka 200 crore. Former Army Chief Harun-Ar-Rashi was sentenced to 4 years jail term and a fine of Taka 3.5 crore. Destiny-2000 chairman Mohammad Hossain was sentenced to 10 years and fined Tk 1.5 crore. However, 39 of the convicted people are absconding and they were sentenced in absentia.
The Destiny 2000 scam is considered to be the worst multi-level marketing scam in Bangladesh. It came to light in 2012 after the country’s central Bank of Bangladesh noticed the huge irregularities in the scheme launched in 2008. The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the case against Destiny officials and charges were pressed against 46 people in 2014.
The judge in his verdict declared that the assets of the company will be liquidated to compensate the shareholders and investors of the scheme. It will be carried out by a committee to be constituted by the government, ordered the court.
Harun-Ar-Rashid is a retired Bangladesh Army general. He served as the Chief of Army Staff of the Bangladesh Army between 2000-2002. He is also the recipient of Bir Pratik honour for his bravery in the Liberation War of Bangladesh.