Dr Sabrina Sharmeen Husain aka Sabrina A Chaudhury, arrested over her alleged involvement in a COVID-19 test scam, had been receiving her monthly salary as the chairman of JKG Health despite claiming she had never held the position.
Detective police recovered three payment slips attesting to the fact, according to officials.
Sabrina, a government cardiac surgeon and the wife of JKG Health Care CEO Ariful Chaudhury, was suspended by the health ministry for violating service rules by holding the post of chairman in a private organisation without permission, reports bdnews24.com.
Police brought charges against JKG Health Care for providing false reports without testing the swabs collected from the people for COVID-19 tests.
A large number of fabricated COVID-19 test reports, written on the official pads of the health directorate and the IEDCR, were found on the laptops of JKG Health Care graphic designer Humayun Kabir Hiru.
On Jun 22, police arrested Humayun Kabir Hiru and his wife Tanzina Patwari following a complaint filed by Kamal Hossain, a caretaker of a house in Dhaka’s Kalyanpur.
Ariful and two other employees were arrested based on the information they divulged.
The government on Jun 24 barred JKG from collecting samples from suspected coronavirus patients in light of the testing scandal.
Police arrested Sabrina after summoning her to their offices. She was subsequently taken to a Dhaka court.
The court later granted the police three days to grill her in remand.
The Detective Branch’s Tejgaon unit is currently investigating the case, Tejgaon Police OC Salah Uddin Mia said.
Four cases were filed against JKG: three of them include fraud charges, according to Tejagaon police’s Additional Deputy Commissioner Rubaiyat Zaman.
The Tejgaon division of detective police is investigating the case. Both Ariful and Sabrina are in the custody of detective police.
They were interrogated together on Wednesday when they hurled abuse at each other and traded blame for the scandal, a DB official said, asking not to be named.
"Sabrina told Ariful that he did all the scheming but was now blaming her, to which he responded, 'You’re the chairman. Don’t you have any responsibility?'"
More than 2,000 fake sample certificates were found in JKG’ computer, said another official.
Both Ariful and Sabrina claimed to be the 'convener' of JKG during the interrogation but were silent when told that such a post did not exist in the company.
Sabrina was known as the chairman of JKG Health Care when the Directorate General of Health Services authorised it to carry out COVID-19 tests months ago.
But she denied having any tie with JKG after health regulators stripped the company of its permission to collect COVID-19 samples on Jun 24.
Despite her denials, police found three payment slips showing that Sabrina received Tk 30,000 per month as the chairman of the company.
According to an investigation officer, she was taking the as an 'honorarium'. “Maybe she wanted to show other staffers how meagre her salary as a chairman was.’
Police have collected enough evidence of fraudulence against the suspects, he said.
"Ariful was arrested on Jun 23 while Sabrina was arrested on Jul 12. Therefore, Sabrina had ample time to remove evidence and she did it," he added.
Nevertheless, police are working to gather more information and proof of their misdeeds.
"We made Ariful and Sabrina face each other to find out if there was any loophole in the police investigation," Deputy Commissioner Golam Mostofa told bdnews24.com. “As the investigating authority, we need to pick up on clues from their conversation and work on it,” he said.
Sabrina was placed on a three-day remand which ended on Wednesday. Police will present her before the court again on Friday seeking permission to interrogate her in remand again.