During the 2001-2005 rule of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its coalition partner Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s son Tarique Rahman was known as “Mr. 10 percent”, as he was demanding ten percent bribe on every development projects and foreign purchases. While his business partner and “special friend” Giasuddin Mamun was assigned to collect ten percent from each of the development projects and foreign purchases in the country, Tarique succeeded in using her mother, Khaleda Zia in suggesting all ministers to “look into” her son’s “business interests”. A large number of foreign investors had abandoned their plan of investing in Bangladesh due to Tarique Rahman and his infamous Hawa Bhaban gang’s unjust demand of paying ten percent of the proposed investment amount as “commission” to the son of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia.
According to a credible source, during the 2001-2005 period, Tarique and Mamun had placed their own man at the Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) for enjoying monopoly in supplying urea fertilizer. Although at that time international market price of urea was less than US$300 per tons, Tarique Rahman’s man was selling it at a rate ranging between US$900-1,400 per tons while the remaining balance was secretly transferred into foreign bank accounts of Tarique Rahman and Giasuddin Mamun. Each year, this vicious circle was cashing hundreds of millions of dollars by selling 1.20-1.50 million tons of urea to BCCI, which had ultimately resulted in huge price of the fertilizer and had costed the country badly. This had also disrupted country’s agricultural production.
Tarique Rahman and his syndicate also made hundreds of millions of dollars by selling rice, sugar, salt, lentils and other essentials to Bangladesh government, Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), Ministry of Food and private consumers at an exorbitant price. Tarique and his infamous Hawa Bhaban was also behind sugar scandal during BNP-Jamaat rule, where he and his cohorts made massive amount of cash through directly exerting influence. They also were behind import of melamine-mixed baby food from China, which they sold in the local market thus pushing lives of hundreds of thousands of children towards extreme health hazards.
It is further learnt that, during BNP-Jamaat rule, Tarique Rahman and his syndicate was importing contaminated powdered milk from East European countries, while such item was unfit for human consumption as milk powder produced by those East European countries were affected by Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
Tarique Rahman stopped TATA from investing in Bangladesh
During the rule of BNP-Jamaat coalition government, Indian conglomerate Tata in 2005 cancelled US$ 3 billion deal after Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leader Tarique Rahman placed a bribery demand to the Indian company.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ICT Advisor Sajeeb Wazed Joy in a post from his verified account on Facebook in March 2022 said that the unchecked greed of BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman and his friend Giasuddin Mamun took a toll on the investment sector of Bangladesh, causing many foreign investors to turn their back.
“Why did Tata pull out of a thousand-crore dollar investment plan at the last moment? How were the youths of Bangladesh deprived of their employment opportunities?” wrote Sajeeb Wazed Joy.
The post titled, “Subject – Tata’s Investment”, also incorporated an audio-visual detailing on why Tata pulled out, at the eleventh hour, of the investment plan they were so excited about.
“It was May 8, 2005. Former Energy Advisor Mahmudur Rahman announced that Tata was set to invest three billion dollars in Bangladesh, which would defy all previous foreign investment marks in the country. According to the plan, they would invest in the fertilizer and steel factory sectors in return for an undisrupted gas supply to Tata for 25 years. Tata also offered 10 per cent equity to Bangladesh”, said the post.
Attending a meeting with the Tata board of directors in India, Tarique Rahman, flanked by his friend Giasuddin Mamun and Silver Selim, wanted to talk to Tata privately. As other directors left, Giasuddin Mamun cleared his throat, demanding a 10 per cent commission, a proposal rejected outright by the billionaire philanthropist. Still, Tarique stubbornly dwelled on his demand. At one point, Tata inquired about the recipient’s bank account, which Giasuddin Mamun said was in Dubai, Singapore, and Malaysia. Mamun demanded Taka 200 crore in the first phase and Taka 100 crore during the election, the report added.