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Life Sentences for Hallmark Group Leaders in Tk3,500 Crore Scam




A Dhaka court on March 19th sentenced Tanvir Mahmud, Managing Director of Hallmark Group, his wife Jesmin Islam, and nine others to life imprisonment in one of the cases related to the Tk3,500 crore Sonali Bank loan scam, stating that the highest penalty for embezzlement should be the death sentence. Tanvir and Jesmin, who is also the chairperson of Hallmark Group, were fined Tk5 crore each.

Sonali Bank’s former managing director Humayun Kabir and eight others received various prison terms as well.

The verdict was passed by Dhaka Special Judge’s Court-1 Judge Abul Kashem. ACC lawyer Mir Ahmed Ali Salam confirmed the verdict.

Among those sentenced to life imprisonment are Tanvir’s brother Tushar Ahmed, who holds the position of chief executive officer, and T and Brothers Director Taslim Hasan, Max Spinning Mills owner Mir Zakaria, Paragon Group Managing Director Saiful Islam Raja, Nakshi Knit managing directors Abdul Malek, Abdul Motin, and Taslim Hasan.

Eight others handed different terms in the same case include Saval Hemayetpur’s Tantuljhora Union Parishad (UP) Chairman Md Jamal Uddin Sarkar, Sonali Bank Senior Executive Officer (Dhanmondi Branch) Meherunnesa Merry, Sonali Bank (head office) former general managers Nani Gopal Nath and Mir Mohidur Rahman, former managing director Humayun Kabir, Deputy Managing Director (DMD) Mainul Haque, Deputy General Manager (DGM) Safi Uddin, and AGM Md Kamrul Hossain Khan.

UP Chairman Jamal Uddin received five years in prison, while the others got 10-year prison terms each.

Currently, Jamal Uddin and Altaf Hossain are out on bail. Saiful Islam, Abdul Matin, Humayun Kabir, Nani Gopal Nath, Taslim, Saiful Hasan, Meherunnesa, and Zakaria are still fugitives. Meanwhile, Tanvir, Tushar, Jasmine, and the remaining eight accused are in custody.

Tanvir and Jasmine are accused of embezzling Tk16.5 crore after taking a loan of Tk525.62 crore in the name of a non-existent Max Spinning Mills. They were accused of embezzling the money between 18 September 2011 and 30 April 2012 by opening fake LCs (Letters of Credit) in the name of 11 Hallmark Group companies to pay for imported goods.

On 4 October 2012, Nazmuchchadat, assistant director at the Anti-Corruption Commission Head Office, filed a case with Ramna Police Station for embezzling Tk135,44,9,484 from the Hotel Sheraton branch of Sonali Bank. Tushar was arrested on 8 October 2012 in this case.

Following the investigation, on 7 October 2013, the investigating officer filed a charge sheet against the 17 accused in 11 cases. These 11 cases were transferred to Special Judge’s Court-1 in Dhaka for trial.

Later, on 17 February and 27 March 2016, the trial court framed charges against the accused.

Following today’s verdict on one of those cases, the remaining cases are pending trial.

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PM Sheikh Hasina Commences Six-Day Official Visit to Thailand



PM Sheikh hasina bangladesh Brown University

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina embarked on a six-day official visit to Thailand today (24 April) at the invitation of her Thai counterpart Srettha Thavisin, aiming to enhance bilateral relations between the two nations.

Accompanied by her entourage, the premier departed from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 10:13 am aboard a flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, according to the premier’s Speechwriter Md Nazrul Islam.

The aircraft is scheduled to land at Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok at 1:30 pm local time.

Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, during a media briefing on Monday, highlighted the significance of the visit, stating that it would foster new avenues of cooperation between Bangladesh and Thailand.

This visit marks the premier’s first bilateral engagement since the formation of the current government in January.

During her visit, Sheikh Hasina will engage in bilateral discussions with Thai Prime Minister Thavisin and participate in the 80th Session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

Several cooperation documents are set to be signed, including a letter of intent on negotiations for a free trade agreement, an agreement on visa exemption for official passport holders, and various Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) covering energy cooperation and tourism sector collaboration.

The visit will also provide an opportunity to explore the potential Free Trade Agreement between the two countries and address issues such as the Rohingya repatriation process and bilateral cooperation in investment, tourism, energy, and connectivity.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to receive a formal welcome from her Thai counterpart and engage in bilateral talks at the Government House. She will also attend a state lunch hosted by the Thai Prime Minister.

Additionally, the prime minister will have a Royal audience with Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua and Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshan, King and Queen of Thailand.

In her multilateral engagements, Sheikh Hasina will participate in the 80th Session of ESCAP and deliver a speech, focusing on leveraging digital innovation for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific.

The session aims to facilitate region-wide cooperation in utilizing digital innovation to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals outlined in the 2030 Agenda.

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Bangladesh-Qatar Strengthen Ties with 10 Cooperation Deals



bangladesh qatar

Bangladesh and Qatar signed 10 cooperation documents on Tuesday, including five agreements and five MoUs, aimed at strengthening ties and elevating relations to new heights.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani witnessed the signing of the documents.

The five agreements cover cooperation in the legal field, promotion and protection of mutual investments, avoidance of double taxation, maritime transport, and the establishment of a Joint Business Council (JBC) between FBCCI & QCCI.

The five MoUs include cooperation in sports and youth, manpower employment (Labour), diplomatic training, education, higher education, scientific research, and between Qatar Ports management Company “MAWANI QATAR” and Chittagong Ports Authority.

Earlier in the morning, PM Hasina warmly welcomed and received Emir Sheikh Tamim at her office.

They had a tête-à-tête meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office, followed by a bilateral meeting.

After signing the visitors’ book, the emir headed for Bangabhaban where the president received him.

A high-level Qatari delegation led by Qatar’s emir is on a state visit to Bangladesh at the invitation of the president and the prime minister.

During the ceremony, a road and a park in Dhaka were named after Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani.

The park, constructed in Kalshi area of Mirpur under Dhaka North City Corporation, and the road from Mirpur ECB point to Kalsi Fly Over were named after Emir of Qatar.

Now, the road and park are known as Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani Avenue and Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani Park.

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Minister Samanta Urges Hospital Preparedness Amid Heatwave




Health and Family Welfare Minister Professor Dr. Samanta Lal Sen has instructed public hospital authorities to prepare for providing healthcare services as the country faces a severe heatwave.

“Elderly individuals and children are particularly vulnerable during this heatwave. I urge people, especially seniors and children, to stay indoors to avoid heatstroke and related complications,” he stated during a virtual press conference held at the ministry.

State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Rokeya Sultana and Director General of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Prof. Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam were also present.

Dr. Sen emphasized that the extreme heatwave has created a critical situation in the country, prompting public hospitals to be on standby to offer treatment services.

“In consideration of the health risks to schoolchildren, I have requested the education minister to close educational institutions. Following Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s directive, schools and colleges will remain closed until April 27,” he added.

Dr. Sen mentioned that public hospitals, including Shishu Hospital, have been instructed to take special measures for children. Additionally, dedicated beds have been allocated at Dhaka North City Corporation Hospitals for elderly individuals and children.

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