With nine fishing ships operating in the deep sea round the year Crystal Fisheries is contributing a lot to the fish consumption in the country producing annually over 8500 metric tonnes supplying the second largest quantity of sea fish for national consumption.
"Nine ships of Crystal Group are netting deep sea fish to the extent of 700 metric tonnes a month and the whole lot is being sold to the local market as countrymen are the first choice for us," said Murshed Murad Ibrahim, managing director of Crystal Fisheries.
He said that the company is looking up to consolidate its role in deep sea fish procurement in the beginning of next year (2013). He is procuring two more ships by February next which will add to the existing fleet of deep sea fishing.
"We don't export fish because the local market has a huge demand for protein-rich deep sea fish," said Mr Murshed, also president of Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI).
The term of Murshed Murad Ibrahim as president of the CCCI has been extended for three months following an order from the Ministry of Commerce after the High Court issued stay order on a writ petition filed by a member over allegations of inclusion of false voters list.
The election was scheduled for December 6 as the term of the incumbent committee expired on 22 December 2012.
Murshed is running the family business inherited from his father late Sekander Hossain Meah, two terms president of the premier trade body-CCCI, two times Member of Parliament from Chittagong-9 constituency, Administrator of Chittagong City Corporation for five years and former Vice President of the FBCCI.
Md Sekander Hossain Meah was honourary consul general of South Korea in Chittagong and president of Chittagong Club Ltd. He was also a director of the erstwhile Bangladesh Shilpa Bank.
"Business of our family basically started during the time of my great grandfather Alhaj Nazu Meah Sawdagar who had cotton business and he exported cotton to Europe during the British rule," Murad Ibrahim said adding that Nazu Meah was also the local agent of Rally Brothers, a British company.
Murshed's grandfather Alhaj Ibrahim Meah was also an industrialist before the Liberation of Bangladesh. He established Ibrahim Cotton Mill and Golap Oil Mill in Chittagong. Ibrahim Cotton Mill is one of the major cotton mills of Chittagong which started production in 1991.
Murshed Murad Ibrahim is the husband of Mahjabeen Murshed MP, a lawmaker in Chittagong from Jatiya Party of HM Ershad.
Currently, fishing vessel FV Crystal-1, Crystal-2, FV Usha-3, FV Shuktara- 4, FV Chingri-5, FV Garibe Newaj-6, FV Crystal-7, Crystal-8 and Crystal-9 are engaged in deep sea fishing.
Murshed has engaged himself in the shipping business recently by investing Tk 1.5 billion in the sector with two mother vessels MV Crystal Gold and MV Crystal Saphire. Both the vessels are now operating in the international routes.
He said he is involved with the insurance business for the last eight years and now a director of the Union Insurance Co Ltd. Recently he entered in the country's banking sector. The two new banks they are set to operate shortly are Farmers Bank and NRB Commercial Banks.
The Crystal group is going to build an 18-floor huge commercial complex at Agrabad in the port city under Crystal Landmark Ltd. Construction of the same is expected to start in the middle of 2013.
Coming back to the issue of CCCI election, allegations are rife that membership has been given to a number of people who are not genuine businessmen and do not deserve to be members of the premier trade body.
The issue has created a sharp division in the Chamber leadership, one group guided by immediate past president of the CCCI and now a ruling Awami League MP MA Latif and the other by Murshed Murad Ibrahim.
Murad Ibrahim, a very close associate of Latif until recent times, has brought allegations against the lawmaker of indulging in false voters list and floated separate panel of candidates for the upcoming CCCI election against Latif's panel.
He said that a good number of voters of the CCCI are representing fake business firms taking advantage of defective rules regarding membership and almost all leaders who headed the CCCI in the past have demanded amendment to the Trade Organisation Act to make the Chamber as a body of true businesses.
"Allah has given me an opportunity to free the Chamber from the clutches of evil elements. I don't want to make it anybody's paternal property," he concluded.