Turn in bank details
Central bank asks 32 Sonali officials; scam buster not allowed to probe suspicious loan
The central bank yesterday asked 32 Sonali Bank officials, including a former managing director, to submit their bank statements within 10 days.
The statements will be sent to the Anti-Corruption Commission for legal action if it is found that they have illegal incomes, a Bangladesh Bank officials said.
The names of these officials came up during separate investigations after the loan scam at the bank’s Ruposhi Bangla branch was unearthed in May this year, he added.
They will have to submit statements of their savings, current, fixed or any other accounts and also statements of their loans.
Of the 32 officials, 17 have been suspended over their alleged involvement in the Tk 3,606-crore loan scam involving Hall-Mark Group and five other companies. Of the sum, Hall-Mark alone swindled Tk 2,686 crore.
Former managing director Humayun Kabir, deputy managing directors Atiqur Rahman and Mainul Haque (now officers on special duty) and general managers Nony Gopal Nath and Mir Mahidur Rahman are among the officials who will have to turn in their wealth statements.
These officials were blamed in a functional audit report prepared by Syful Shamsul Alam and Co, a chartered accountant and consultancy firm, for their roles in the swindling of public money from the Ruposhi Bangla branch in the name of loans against forged documents.
Meanwhile, ANM Mashrurul Huda Siraji, who was the general manager of the bank’s head office when the scam was underway, said he was transferred outside Dhaka as soon as he moved to investigate the fraud.
“I sensed it in mid-January and formed a team to probe it. But the managing director [Humayun Kabir] transferred me just a day before the probe was to start,” he told reporters yesterday.
He added he could serve only three months at the head office. He was first transferred to Comilla and then to Sylhet and then again to Rangpur by Kabir.
Siraji, now serving as general manager at the Rangpur branch of the bank, was interrogated by the ACC over the scam.
Five other Sonali Bank officials were also quizzed by the anti-graft body in connection with the swindle.
They are general managers Nousher Ali and Mahbubul Haque and deputy general managers Mohammad Musa, Altaf Hossain and Shafi Uddin.
The five were involved in the scam, an ACC official said, citing Bangladesh Bank and Sonali Bank investigations.
However, all of them dismissed the accusation, said ACC sources involved in the interrogation.
Including the six yesterday, the ACC has so far quizzed 23 Sonali Bank officials. The anti-graft body has also interrogated Hall-Mark Managing Director Tanvir Mahmud and his wife and group chairperson Jasmine Islam.
Despite several attempts, Kabir, who was MD from May 2010 to May 2012 when the scam took place, could not be reached for comment over the phone.
ACC sources said they would quiz five officials today in connection with the scam.
Courtesy of The Daily Star