GM, 2 DGMs of Sonali Bank held

sonali bank

A joint team of police and Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) officials arrested a general manager (GM) and two deputy general managers (DGM) of Sonali Bank Sunday evening in the capital in cases filed for Hall-Mark loan scam.

The arrestees — GM Meer Mahidur Rahman (OSD), DGM Sheikh Altaf Hossain (suspended) and DGM Shafijuddin Ahmed (suspended) — were taken to Ramna Police Station after their arrest in the area, said an ACC official.

Pranab Mukherjee, public relations official of the anti-graft watchdog, told The Daily Star that the trio would be produced before court on Monday with remand prayers.

Earlier 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 in depositor’s money.

The sum, which was funded loan meaning given in cash, is part of the more than Tk 2,600 crore credit that the controversial group in collaboration with some bank officials swindled out of the bank using forged documents, according to the investigation.

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

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

According to the ACC findings, Sonali Bank’s Ruposhi Bangla Hotel branch disbursed over Tk 1,568.49 crore in loan to Hall-Mark between October 2011 and May this year.

FULL LIST OF ACCUSED

The Hall-Mark Group accused are its MD Tanvir Mahmud, Chairperson Jasmine Islam, General Manager Tusher Ahmed and officials Jahangir Alam, Mir Zakaria, Ziaur Rahman and Shahidul Islam.

Sonali Bank’s Ruposhi Bangla branch officials: former manager AKM Azizur Rahman, assistant general manager Saiful Hasan and executive officer Md Abdul Matin. The trio has recently been suspended for their alleged involvement in the fraud.

The bank’s Dhanmondi branch officials: Meherun Nesa Merry, senior executive officer, and Wahiduzzaman, former senior officer.

Head office officials: former MD Humayun Kabir, deputy managing director Mainul Haque (now officer on special duty), DMD Atikur Rahman (OSD), General Manager ANM Mashrurul Huda Siraji, GM Nani Gopal Nath (OSD), GM Meer Mahidur Rahman (OSD), former GM Sabita Siraj, Deputy General Manager Sheikh Altaf Hossain (suspended), DGM Bhagobati Majumder (suspended), DGM Shafijuddin Ahmed (suspended), DGM Kaniz Fatema Chowdhury, Assistant General Manager Kamrul Hossain Khan (suspended), AGM Ashraf Ali Patwari (suspended), AGM Abul Hassan and AGM Khurshid Alam.

FLASHBACK

In May, a Bangladesh Bank investigation revealed serious irregularities at Sonali Bank’s Ruposhi Bangla branch in sanctioning and disbursing loans worth Tk 3,547 crore. Of the amount, Hall-Mark Group took Tk 2,686 crore against fake paper.

The BB then instructed the bank to take necessary action against 31 of its officials.

Later, Sonali Bank carried out a functional audit in the branch. The audit found that AKM Azizur Rahman and Saiful Hasan had extended unauthorised loans to Hall-Mark and five other companies. Hall-Mark alone was given Tk 2,667.45 crore.

The audit report said the branch manager demonstrated utter negligence to banking rules in sanctioning those loans.

On August 30, Sonali Bank suspended 17 of its officials over the fraud.

Later on September 3, two deputy managing directors — Atiqur Rahman and Mainul Haque — were made OSDs for their failure in preventing the scam.

Source:The Daily Star

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