Sonali board members blame management
Four members of the board of directors of Sonali Bank on Wednesday alleged the bank management was involved in the Hallmark money swindling, claiming their non-involvement in the loan scam.
Members of the board of directors Suvas Chandra Singho Roy, Jannat Ara Henry, KM Zaman Romel and Sattayendra Chandra Bhakta made the allegation after being interrogated by the Anti-Corruption Commission.
Two other members of the board of directors, Anwar Shahid and ASM Nayeem were also interrogated by the ACC in connection with the alleged swindling of about Tk 3,547 crore by Hallmark Group from the Ruposhi Bangla hotel branch of Sonali Bank.
Meanwhile, an ACC official told New Age that Sonali Bank on Wednesday sent a letter to ACC asking it to file cases against 22 people, including three former bank officials, in the swindling scam.
Three former bank officials are deputy general manager AKM Azizur Rahman, assistant general manager Safiqul Hasan and international trade and business department official Abdul Matin.
The remaining 19 are senior executives of the Hallmark Group and five other companies. They include Hallmark Group managing director Tanvir Mahmud and his wife Jesmin Islam, also chairman of the group, and general manager Tushar Ahmed.
The ACC chairman Ghulam Rahaman told New Age that he had received a letter from Sonali Bank and forwarded it to the inquiry team but he did not disclose the content of the letter.
Earlier on Tuesday, Sonali Bank managing director Pradip Kumar Dutta had said his bank would not file any criminal cases against some of its officials and Hallmark Group’s MD and chairman.
After the interrogation on Wednesday, Subhash Singha Roy told reporters that ‘the government is living with enemy.’
He demanded legal punishment for those involved in the embezzlement of money.
Jannat Ara Henry, who was also interrogated by ACC, said the money was swindled through Inland Bill Purchase and the board of directors did not discuss the IBP issue as this agenda was not tabled at the board meetings.
She said that the bank management is responsible for the scam, not the board of directors.
The ACC commissioner Bodiuzzman told reporters that the commission would take action against board members if they find their involvement in the scam.
A six-member team led by ACC deputy director Mir Md Zainul Abedin Shibly started the interrogation at its office from 9am which continued till 5pm.
The Sonali Bank Chairman Quazi Baharul Islam, directors Kashem Humayun, Pradip Kumar Dutta, Shaimum Sarwar and Kamal Shahid Ulla Mia will face ACC interrogation today.
Earlier, the ACC inquiry team interrogated 62 people including prime minister’s health advisor Syed Modasser Ali in connection with the scam.
On September 10, the Bank and Financial Institutions Division of the Finance Ministry asked the Sonali Bank authorities to file criminal cases against the officials of the bank and Hallmark Group involved in the scam.
The central bank accordingly instructed the Sonali Bank authorities to take action against 32 of its officials, including a former managing director and two deputy managing directors.
-With New Age input