ACC finds 9 more banks involvedAhammad Foyez
The Anti-Corruption Commission has spotted involvement of nine more commercial banks in the swindling of around Tk 3,700 crore from Sonali Bank Ruposhi Bangla Hotel Branch by the Hallmark Group and five other business houses.
With this the number of public, private and foreign banks found involved in the scam now stands at 35.
The banks doled out money to the business concerns in violation of rules against back-to-back letters of credit and Inland Bill Purchases accepted by the Sonali Bank branch, an ACC official told New Age on Monday.
He said the ACC inquiry team primarily found involvement of 26 banks in the Hallmark-Sonali scam, but last week the team confirmed nine more banks’ involvement in embezzling the non-founded part of the money.
The public banks allegedly involved in the scam are Agrani Bank (Tk 250 crore), Janata Bank (Tk 315 crore), Rupali Bank (100 crore), Basic Bank (25 crore), and Bangladesh Krishi Bank (Tk 2 crore).
The private banks on the ACC list are Premier Bank (Tk 15 crore), BRAC Bank (Tk 10 crore), National Bank (Tk 20 crore), United Commercial Bank (Tk 15 crore), One Bank (Tk 30 crore), City Bank (Tk 10 crore), Uttara Bank (Tk 20 crore), Prime Bank (Tk 5 crore), Islami Bank (Tk 15 crore), Mutual Trust Bank (Tk 25 crore), Mercantile Bank (Tk 25 crore), Jamuna Bank (Tk 25 crore) Shahjalal Islami Bank (Tk 110 crore), Al-Arafah Islami Bank (Tk 20 crore), Southeast Bank (Tk 30 crore), National Credit and Commerce Bank (Tk 25 crore), Social Islami Bank (Tk 100 crore), Export Import Bank of Bangladesh (Tk 5 crore), International Finance Invest and Commerce Bank (Tk 2 crore), Trust Bank (Tk 25 lakh), Pubali Bank (Tk 15 crore), Dutch-Bangla Bank (Tk 15 crore), Dhaka Bank (Tk 2 crore), Bank Asia (Tk 15 crore), and AB Bank (Tk 5 crore).
The foreign banks on the list are State Bank of India in Bangladesh (Tk 3 crore), National Bank of Pakistan in Bangladesh (Tk 8 crore), Standard Chartered Bank Bangladesh (Tk 2 crore), Bank Alfalah in Bangladesh (Tk 2 crore) and HSBC Bank Bangladesh (Tk 15 crore).
The ACC probe at its primary level identified 61 branches of 26 banks involved, the official said, adding that the ACC team was now trying to spot the particular branches of the nine newly identified banks involved in the embezzlement.
The probe team has already interrogated 14 officials of Janata Bank and summoned 21 officials of Social Islami Bank, 19 of Shahjalal Islami Bank, and two of Rupali Bank for interrogation, he said.
The commission on October 4 filed 11 cases against seven officials of the Hallmark Group including its managing director Tanvir Mahmud and 20 officials of Sonali Bank including its former managing director Humayun Kabir on charge of their involvement in misappropriating more than Tk 1,568.39 crore funded part of the total embezzled amount of around Tk 2,686 crore.
On January 1, the ACC filed as many as 26 cases against 18 senior executives of the other five business concerns and 17 officials of Sonali Bank on charge of their involvement in swindling Tk 350.37,82 crore of the total Tk 866.86 crore funded part of the embezzled money.
The commission, on receiving a Bangladesh Bank letter on July 15 last, instituted the six-member probe team headed by its deputy director Mir Joynul Abedin Shibli. The other committee members are ACC deputy director Akter Hamid, assistant directors Moshiur Rahman and Nazmus Sadet, and deputy assistant directors Majibur Rahman and Joynal Abedin.
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