Saturday, June 22, 2024

Arrest order for 17 accused

Jasmine granted bail in Hall-Mark scam cases
A Dhaka court yesterday took cognisance of charges against 25 people, including Hall-Mark Group Chairman Jasmine Islam and its Managing Director Tanvir Mahmud, for swindling over Tk 2,600 crore out of Sonali Bank. The court also issued arrest warrants against 17 of them as they have been absconding since the filing of 11 cases in this regard by the Anti-Corruption Commission on October 4 last year.
Judge Md Zahirul Haque of the Senior Special Judge’s Court of Dhaka directed officers-in-charge of different police stations to submit reports by November 27 on execution of the warrants. He also fixed the same date for the next hearing in the cases.
The court granted bail to Jasmine Islam after she appeared before it seeking bail in the cases filed with Shahbag Police Station.
Earlier on August 4, Jasmine secured bail in the cases on the condition that she would pay back the amount in monthly instalments of Tk 100 crore.
The ACC and the accused challenged the conditional bail order with the High Court, which is yet to be settled.
During the hearing on Jasmine’s bail prayer yesterday, ACC lawyers argued that the lower court could not pass any order as the issue was pending with the HC.
In the 11 cases, the ACC had sued 27 top officials of Sonali Bank and Hall-Mark Group for their alleged involvement in the scam.
The graft watchdog on October 7 pressed charges against 25 of them. Of the accused, seven including Tanvir are now behind bars.
The other accused include former managing director of Sonali Bank Humayun Kabir, and a union parishad chairman in Savar, who had issued fake trade licences to the controversial business group.
ACC investigators did not find any involvement of any member of the bank’s board of directors and prime minister’s adviser Syed Modasser Ali, whose names surfaced after the detection of the largest ever loan scam in the country.

-With The Daily Star input

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