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Coronavirus pandemic, challenges, scam and scammers


Coronavirus pandemic, challenges, scam and scammers

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

Possibly it is no more too aggregated to say, a section of the Bangladesh media as well as plenty of people on the social media are on purpose spreading various types of rumors and provocative contents with the ulterior agenda of tarnishing image of the government. Ever-since the coronavirus entered Bangladesh, some people – especially those in the anti-government bloc, had turned extremely enthusiastic seeing the pandemic as a possible “opportunity” of changing the political demography of the country. Instead of playing positive role, unfortunately, the print and electronic media in Bangladesh are seen actively involved not only in spreading fear, they also are chronologically “leaking” incidents of “scams” and exposing “scammers” with extra enthusiasm in branding those “culprits” as either well-connected to the running party or even its leaders and policymakers.

Certainly, I have no intension or agenda or whitewashing any of those names or incidents, which are being projected by the media as culprits or scammers.

The latest names in the coronavirus scam are Mohammed Shahed alias Shahed Karim and Dr. Sabrina Arif Chowdhury.

According to media reports, Dr. Sabrina, as the chairman of JKG Health Care was directly involved in issuing fake coronavirus test reports. Similarly, Mohammed Shahed, the chairman of Regent Group, running a number of unregistered hospitals in Bangladesh grabbed headline news in the media after it emerged that his hospitals swindled thousands of unsuspecting patients our of millions of takas on the pretext of coronavirus treatment.

According to media reports, it was Shahed’s influence that had previously obstructed the efforts of cheated patients and their families from lodging complaints against him and his scandalous hospitals.

Shahed Karim, a close-aide of executed war criminal and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Mir Kashem Ali and Giasuddin Mamun, one of the top-brasses of infamous Hawa Bhaban, a political powerhouse of the then Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) government. Mamun is serving rigorous imprisonment on various corruption cases.

It was earlier reported in the media that Shahed has invested significant amount of his ill-gotten money in a television program production company with the ulterior agenda of getting connected to various actresses. A number of TV actresses reportedly were used by Shahed for entertaining several influential and important figures in the society.

Meanwhile, it is learned from a dependable source that Shahed Karim and his partner in the television content production company was involved in dealing in Yaba (a contraband drugs) mostly through the help of some controversial television actresses. There also are allegations in the media about Shahed Karim’s involvement into dealing in counterfeit currency and weapons.

From the entire episode of such scams and scammers, it is evidently clear that some while some vested interest groups are taking undue advantage and some others on-purpose using those incidents in defaming the ruling party.

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is an internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-jihadist journalist, counter-terrorism specialist and editor of Blitz

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