Janata Bank yet to take action against officials

Janata Bank is dillydallying on taking punitive action against its officials who, according to two Bangladesh Bank inspections, were involved in a financial scam in the bank’s four
branches in Dubai, said officials of the central bank and Janata Bank.
A BB official told New Age on Tuesday that the central bank had already conducted two investigations in the Janata Bank’s branches in Dubai and the inspection teams comprising of officials of the BB and the finance ministry unearthed that Tk 4,91,40,000 was embezzled by two companies and some officials of the bank using fake letters of credit.
In February this year, the BB issued a letter to the managing director of Janata Bank to take punitive action against the officials who were involved in the crime, he said.
But, the management of Janata Bank has not even formed a separate committee to look into the scam, he said.
According to the BB report, the officials who were involved in the scam are Shafiqul Islam, deputy general manager and former chief executive officer of the Janata Bank’s Dubai operation, Abdul Momen, former branch manager of a branch in Dubai and Shahabuddin, an official of a Dubai branch.
According to the BB letter, the second inspection team had conducted investigation in the Janata Bank’s branches in Dubai between August 26 and August 30 in 2012 and found the scam which was perpetrated by some officials of Janata Bank and Steven Frost LLC and Steven Frost Grocery.
The BB letter said that the two companies had opened a number of LCs with the Janata Bank’s branches in Dubai to import bitumen, wheat, clinker, heavy melting scrap and pulse from Iran in a bid to export the products to Bangladesh.
Bangladeshi businesspeople could not import anything directly from Iran due to the United Nations’ embargo on the country, the letter said.
The exporter bank in Iran handed over the shipping documents of the products to Janata Bank after which the documents were given to Steven Frost without taking the import cost of the products, the letter said.
On the other hand, the Janata Bank’s branches in Dubai gave the bills of acceptance to the Iranian bank resulting that Janata Bank faced a huge amount of loss.
The BB earlier conducted a separate inspection on September 30, 2010 in the Janata Bank’s branches in Dubai in which it unearthed the scam and detected that some officials of the bank were involved in the scam.
After the BB inspection, Janata Bank conducted an investigation in which former CEO of the bank’s branches in Dubai Shafiqul Islam was dropped from the scam charge, the BB official said.
Shafiqul claimed that the central bank’s inspection team declared him guilty without giving him scope for defending.
‘For this reason, another inspection team comprising of officials of the BB and the finance ministry investigated the issue and found that Shafiqul was involved in the crime,’ the BB official said.
An official of Janata Bank told New Age that Shafiqul had later been posted at the foreign trade monitoring department of the bank, ignoring the BB’s order of taking punitive action against him.
Shafiqul Islam told New Age that he was transferred from Dubai in October 2012 and later joined the head office of Janata Bank in March this year.
Asked about the scam, he declined to make any comment.
Janata Bank managing director and CEO SM Aminur Rahman said, ‘His bank is now conducting another investigation into the issue and has already stopped the promotion process of Shafiqul.’
Asked when the bank will take punitive action against the official, he declined to make any comment.

-With New Age input

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