Sonali trio hid forged papers Says anti-graft body

The general manager of Sonali Bank and two of his deputies used to hide the forged documents of Hall-Mark Group from the bank’s top authorities to help it get a loan of more than Tk 2,600 crore, said a high official of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday.

The trio, who were arrested on Sunday, used to take bribe from Hall-Mark on a monthly basis, the ACC official added.

A Dhaka court yesterday placed each of the three — suspended GM Meer Mahidur Rahman and two suspended deputy general managers (DGMs) Sheikh Altaf Hossain and Shafizuddin Ahmed — on a 12-day remand in two cases filed in connection with the Hall-Mark loan scam.

The first case was filed for misappropriating Tk 208 crore while the other for misappropriating Tk 1.72 crore.

Metropolitan Magistrate Mohammad Mostafizur Rahman passed the order after two assistant directors of ACC, who are also the investigation officers of the cases, produced them before the court with a 14-day remand prayer.

Previously, in his statement under Section 164, Managing director of Hall-Mark Group Tanvir Mahmud said the trio used to hide the forged documents of LC and Inland Bill Purchase (IBP) from the bank authorities, through which the scam was committed, Deputy Commissioner of ACC Mir Mohammad Zainul Abedin Shibly told reporters at his office in the capital.

The Sonali Bank’s Ruposhi Bangla Hotel branch, which had disbursed over Tk 1,568.49 crore in loan to Hall-Mark between October 2011 and May this year, used to send the copies of forged IBP and LC to the GM and the DGMs as per banking rules, but suspended GM Mahidur did not inspect the branch timely during his tenure, said Shibly.

He said GM Mahidur in collaboration with others kept from inspecting the branch only to make the scam a success.

On October 4, after two and a half months’ investigation, the ACC filed 11 cases against 27 top officials of Sonali Bank and Hall-Mark Group for misappropriating over Tk 1,568 crore of depositor’s money. The amount is a portion of the total money swindled, according to the investigation.

Seven of the accused are officials of Hall-Mark, including its owner Tanvir Mahmud, while the rest of Sonali Bank, including its former managing director Humayun Kabir.

The cases were filed under the anti-money laundering and corruption prevention acts.

Source:The Daily Star

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