Friday, October 12, 2012
[chottala.com] Tk 7,314.87cr swindled out of banks in 3 years
Tk 7,314.87cr swindled out of banks in 3 years
More than Tk 7,314.87 crore was swindled out of the country's banking sector by different companies, including Hallmark Group, in last three years, according to the Anti-Corruption Commission.ACC chairman Ghulam Rhman told New Age that the commission had launched an intense inquiry against the companies that swindled over Tk 7,314.87 crore out of state-owned Sonali, Janata, Rupali and Agrani banks and the private sector Prime Bank.
An official of the ACC, however, said the actual amount of the swindled money might be higher than the estimated amount.
The companies drew the bank money through forged letters of credit and fake documents, said the ACC's primary inquiry.According to the ACC's inquiry findings, the Hallmark Group and five other companies had embezzled around Tk 3,547 from the Ruposhi Bangla hotel branch of Sonali Bank.
Benetex Limited, Mother Textile Mills Limited and Madaripur Spinning Mills swindled about Tk 1,500 crore from the local office of Rupali Bank.
In another forgery, a 'mysterious' businessman, also named Tanvir (Chowdhury), allegedly swindled about Tk 350 crore from Ramna Corporate Branch of Janata Bank.The ACC official said that the commission inquiry teams had also inquired into the allegation of embezzlement of about Tk 100 crore from Prime Bank
Limited, Tk 500 crore from three branches of the Agrani Bank, Tk 700 crore from other branches of Janata Bank, including its Ramna corporate branch.
Salehuddin Ahmed, former governor of Bangladesh Bank, told New Age that the country's banking and financial sector would collapse if the government failed to recover all the swindled money.'Embezzlement by Hallmark Group and other companies pose a serious threat to the country's economy,' he added.
The commission's inquiry also found links of 26 more private and public banks to the Hallmark-Sonali scam.
The commission already lodged 11 cases against 27 people over the alleged involvement with the scam, including Hallmark managing director Tanvir Mahmud.ACC also began probe the case against businessman Tanvir Chowdhury, who allegedly swindled about Tk 350 crore from Ramna Corporate Branch of Janata Bank.
The ACC recently received the allegation of misappropriation and supporting papers from the Bangladesh Bank, an ACC official said.
A BB letter said Tanvir Chowdhury, owner of signboard-based two exporting companies—Chowdhury Knitwear Limited and Chowdhury Towels Limited, had siphoned off the money from Janata Bank showing fake documents between 2007 and 2009.The commission also started inquiry into an allegation of embezzlement of around Tk 500 crore from three more branches of Sonali Bank. The branches are the Sonali Bank local office, Gulshan branch and Agargon branch, the ACC official said.
On September 17, the commission formed a four-member inquiry team. The team already interrogated eight officials of the Agargon branch over their alleged link with embezzlement of about Tk 141 crore from the branch by Green Printers Limited through forged LC.According to the ACC official, Shamsur Nahar, owner of Ruposhi Auto Rice Mill, embezzled around Tk 47.75 crore from the local office of Sonali Bank and some 'signboard-based' companies embezzled about Tk 450 crore from the Gulshan and Agargon branches of Sonali bank.
The ACC official said they had heard complaints that the Gulshan branch approved and disbursed around Tk 106 crore in loans and advances in last two and a half years through underhand dealings.
According to the allegation, the companies took loan from the Bank through LC. The ACC started inquiry after confirmation of the central bank.
On September 16, the commission filed a case against three officials of Rupali Bank and two businessmen for the alleged embezzlement of Tk 15 crore.In April this year, the commission filed 33 cases against 16 persons, including seven bank officials, for their alleged involvement in the embezzlement of around Tk 18.47 crore from Mirpur Cantonment branch of Sonali Bank.
From January to August this year, the ACC filed a total of 272 cases on different allegations. Among those, 44 cases were filed on charge of embezzlement of bank money.Salehuddin said that punishment of the people responsible was vital, otherwise, the government and the central bank would fail to stop recurrence of similar scandals in the banking sector.
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