Transcom: what charges Latifur’s daughter Shahzreh brought against mother Shahnaz, sister Simeen

The younger daughter of late founder Latifur has filed three case in the legal battle over the ownership of the company

Court Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 23 Feb 2024, 08:53 PM
Updated : 23 Feb 2024, 08:53 PM

A fight over the ownership of Transcom Group has been flung out in the open over three and a half years after the death of its founder Latifur Rahman, a businessman who prided himself on his ethical values.

His younger daughter Shahzreh Huq, a director of the group, has started three cases against her sister Simeen Rahman, CEO of the company, on charges of embezzlement of funds, unlawful possession of property, and illegal transfer of shares.

Their mother Shahnaz Rahman, who became chairman after Latifur’s death, is also accused in two of the cases while Simeen’s son Zaraif Ayaat Hossain, head of strategy and transformation, is accused in one.

Five top officials of the company secured bail in the cases on Friday, a day after their arrest.

They are Executive Director of Corporate Affairs Fokhruzzaman Bhuiyan, Chief Financial Officer Kamrul Hassan, Director of Corporate Finance Abdullah Al Mamun, Assistant Company Secretary Mohammed Mossadeq and Manager (company secretary) Abu Yusuf Md Siddik.

Simeen and Shahnaz could not be reached for comments.

Latifur started his career through his family’s jute business, and founded the Transcom Group with Abu Sayed Mahmud after Bangladesh’s independence.

Starting with tea export, the company’s activities centred on import and marketing of electronics products. Now its businesses range to even partnerships with KFC and Pizza Hut.

The annual turnover of the firm with more than 20,000 employees was $800 million in 2020.

After Latifur’s death in July 2020 at the age of 75 from a combination of health complications amid the coronavirus pandemic, Shahnaz took over as chairman and managing director of Transcom.

Simeen became the chief executive with control over operation and management of all the subsidiaries of Transcom.

She is accused in all three cases filed by Shahzreh at Gulshan Police Station under sections 406, 419, 420, 467, 468, 470 and 471 of the Bangladesh Penal Code.

The charges include criminal breach of trust, forgery, fraud, and passing copies of valuable deposits as originals.

For criminal breach of trust, the maximum punishment under section 406 of the Penal Code is three-year jail term, or fines or both.

EMBEZZLEMENT

In one of the cases, Shahzreh said mother Shahnaz was the nominee of around Tk 1 billion in bank accounts and FDRs of Latifur.

Shahzreh said the funds were supposed to be distributed among the heirs, but Simeen transferred the money to her and their mother’s accounts.

Simeen took away Tk 600 million of the funds, saying the money was needed to buy 18 percent Transcom Electronics shares, according to the charges.

Shahzreh alleged Shahnaz and Simeen colluded to deprive other heirs of Latifur’s assets.

TRANSCOM SHARES

Shahzreh alleged in another case that Simeen forged three transfer documents with the help of four officials of Transcom.

Simeen is accused of taking ownership of majority shares “illegally” by submitting those documents to the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms.

Shahzreh claims she had been informed that her father transferred 4,270 to her, another 4,270 to her late brother Arshad Waliur Rahman, and 14,160 to Simeen, but Shahzreh did not sign the transfer document.

She also claims Latifur had never signed any transfer document, which means the accused forged the documents.

SETTLEMENT DEED

In the third case, Shahzreh alleged Simeen and Shahnaz prepared a deed of settlement by forging Shahzreh and Waliur’s signatures.

By using the deed, Simeen became CEO and Shahnaz chairman of the company, according to Shahzreh.

She claims she has never signed any deed of settlement with a family member.