Metronet Bangladesh, the largest internet service provider in the country, is at risk of shutdown amid irregularities of incumbent chief executive Syed Almas Kabir. Almas is the former president of the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS). “Syed Almas Kabir hatched conspiracy against Metronet by issueing letters to different banks and financial institutions sans approval of board,'” Metronet Bangladesh Ltd Managing Director Mustafa Rafiqul Islam told a press conference at Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) on Sunday.
Metronet additional managing director Ferdous Azam Khan, deputy managing director Mahbubul Alam and senior executive vice-president Rahat Khan were also present. Mustafa claimed that Almas had violated the company’s rules for gaining personal interest despite holding only a 2 percent share of Metronet. Metronet serves national emergency information service 999 (Triple Nine), banks, MFS, Chittagong Stock Exchange, NID database, e-passport, and many public and private entities.
Rahim Afroz and Syed Almas Kabir have withdrawn about Tk 30 million from Metronet in the financial year 2020-21 and about Tk 80 million in the name of a share purchase in FY 2022-23. Mustafa Rafiqul Islam said that legal action would be taken against them for illegally withdrawing Tk 110 million from Metronet accounts. The Metronet boss complained that the current board has been managing the company’s day-to-day operations properly after December 5, 2022. “Syed Almas Kabir has been conspiratorially issuing letters to various banks to stop transactions since December 8. He also issued letters to customers, including various banks for non-payment of bills,” Mustafa added.
Due to anti-company activities, immediate past managing director Almas has been relieved from both the director and managing director posts. Rahim Afroz Group decided to exit from the Metronet board by selling their entire stake in 2019. Along with them, Flora Telecom and Ferdous Azam Khan have also decided to sell shares and exit as the desired customers were not found for the sale of shares.
Metronet offered to the officers in operation to purchase the shares. But Almas Kabir cheated the other three officials to become the sole owner and signed a Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) with each of them separately in June 2022 to purchase the entire shares of Rahim Afroz Group, Flora Telecom and Metronet founder Ferdous Azam Khan in his own name.
After much deliberation a board meeting was held on 5th December and I approved Mustafa Rafiqul Islam and Farah Islam as nominated directors and Ferdous Azam Khan as independent director of Flora Telecom Limited. Accordingly, we constitute the new Board of Metronet Bangladesh Limited after submitting the documents to RJSC and obtaining approval. Mustafa Rafiqul Islam said, when Rahim Afroz Group also went to court to enter the board after a few months when our board was conducting its daily activities.
The court rejected their application as defaulters of more than Tk 23 billion, later they came to the higher court and first sought an injunction against the board. Rahim Afroz Group and Almas Kabir are in contempt of court by entering their office. Almas Kabir is still using the position of managing director and CEO to carry out illegal activities against the company and the board with some of the hired and fired officers.
Internet connection, phone and PABX connection, e-mail, ERP, network access service including various servers of Gulshan-2 registered office by changing password and cloned e-mail, phone extension of our bill collection team and illegally issued money receipts by own people in Banani office.
Collecting the bill by printing, several general diaries have been made in the police station regarding these matters. Earlier, Syed Almas Kabir tried to take a million rupees loan from Meghna Bank by guaranteeing Metronet Bangladesh Limited with a paper company called IL Corp Limited, according to Mustafa.
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