ACC letting BASIC Bank’s Bachchu off the hook

The Anti-Corruption Commission has submitted its inquiry report regarding the BASIC Bank scam, but giving leeway to the bank’s former chairman Sheikh Abdul Hye Bacchu, who allegedly masterminded the fraud.

The investigation team submitted the report to the special investigations and inspection team-1 of ACC on Tuesday.

Fifty separate reports recommended suing former BASIC Bank managing director (MD) Kazi Fakhrul Islam and 55 others, including BASIC Bank officials and chairmen, managing directors and officials of the companies that took loans from the bank through underhand means.

It has been alleged that the ACC is not taking action against Sheikh Abdul Hye Bacchu as he is a Jatiya Party leader and connections at high positions.

An ACC official said the anti-graft watchdog will look into the alleged irregularities and corruption of Bacchu though there is no recommendation to do so in the probe report.

Bangladesh Bank, however, found Bacchu responsible for the embezzlement. Finance minister AMA Muhith has also repeatedly reiterated that Bacchu is the mastermind behind BASIC Bank scam.

The central bank has also sent several of its reports on the bank scam to the ACC. Bangladesh Bank’s inquiry report pointed to former chairman of Basic Bank, Sheikh Abdul Hye Bachchu, as responsible for the embezzlement.

ACC Commissioner (investigations) Md Shahabuddin told Prothom Alo, “The probe report is yet to be presented before the commission. It’ll take two to three days more. ACC will give its decision after reviewing the report.”

According to the ACC report, the commission has recommended separate cases for embezzlement in four of its branches, suing 23 in the Gulshan branch, 21 in the Shantinagar branch, six in the Dilkusha branch and six in the main branch.

The persons recommended to be sued by the ACC include former BASIC Bank managing director Kazi Fakhrul Islam, DMDs Md Selim, Emdadul Haque, Fazlul Sobhan, Kanak Kumar Purkayastha and A Monayem Khan and director general of credit committee Md Maniruzzaman and Shahjahan Mollah, DGM Khan Iqbal Hasan, AGM Md Ashrafuzzaman, Shantinagar branch manager Md Jalal Uddin, AGM SM Anisur Rahman Chowdhury, former manager Mohammad Ali, Gulshan branch manager Shipar Ahmed and credit in-charge of the branch SM Zahid Hasan, among others.

It has also been recommended that the officials of the companies who took loans from BASIC Bank through dishonest means also be sued. The chairmen and MDs of Well Sweaters, Madina Hardware Store, Sohel Trading Agency, Tokyo Agency, Tokyo Knit Garments, Vulnerable Export Industries, Classic Accessories, Delta Systems, ARSS Enterprise, Brothers’ Enterprise, AB Trade Link, Messer’s RK Food Limited, Messer’s Nimex Limited and others.

According to an ACC source, the commission does not have any evidence that can prove Bachchu had complicity with the scam.

However, BASIC Bank sources said former BASIC Bank chairman Bachchu had a big role in passing the resolution of loan proposals at board meetings and around 30 big loans were issued from the board committee without getting approved from the braches.

According to the Bangladesh Bank report, the total loan disbursed by Basic Bank up to December 2008 stood at Tk 2,700 crore, which shot up to Tk 9,373 crore till March 2013.

The bank disbursed loan of Tk 6,673 crore in the six years, of which Tk 4500 crore was given breaching the rules.

Source: Prothom Alo


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