Friday, September 20, 2019

ACC arrests SMHI Faruk over FR Tower design forgery charges

  • Staff Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2019-08-19 14:57:46 BdST

bdnews24

The Anti-Corruption Commission has arrested engineer SMHI Faruk, one of the owners of fire-ravaged FR Tower of Banani in Dhaka, in a case over design forgery charges.

A team of the anti-graft watchdog arrested Faruk at 1pm from Gulshan-2 area on Monday, said ACC spokesman Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya.

His arrest came a day after the ACC arrested Tasvir Ul Islam, another owner of the FR Tower, in the same case.

Islam, a member of the BNP’s central committee and the president of the party’s Kurigram wing, is the managing director of Quasem Drycells, which owns the three floors of the 23-storey building.

The ACC on June 25 sued 23 people, including the FR Tower landowner, Rupayan chairman and two former Rajuk chairmen, and Tasvir, accusing them of adding illegal floors to the building by forging the original design of the structure.

At least 27 people were killed and scores injured in the blaze at the 23-storey commercial building on Mar 28.  Days later, investigations revealed that the builders had permission for 18 floors and the managers neglected fire safety.

Real estate company Rupayan Housing built FR Tower on a land owned by SMHI Faruque on Kamal Ataturk Avenue.

The ownership of the building was jointly held by the landowner and the developer. Hence, it was named Faruque Rupayan Tower, or FR Tower in short. After the fire incident, the government formed four investigation committees.

According to a housing and public works ministry probe report, the five of FR Tower’s top floors were “illegally” built and accused about 50 Rajuk officials and employees, including two ex-chairmen, of committing irregularities in approving the building design.

It also found the irregularities in clearing the floors for loans.

The charges against Tasvir include buying the FR Tower floors illegally by taking Tk 56.5 million loans from GSP Finance Limited.

Police had earlier arrested Tasvir, who headed the managing committee of the building, in a case over the deaths in the fire incident. He has been out on bail in that case.