The government is looking into where the Islami Bank spends its profit, State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal has said.
“Islami Bank already gave a report on how its profits are spent. The intelligence people have been instructed to look into whether there are any discrepancies in it,” said the minister.
He was speaking to reporters after emerging from a meeting of the ministry’s Antiterrorism Committee on Thursday.
Kamal said the government was monitoring a few other financial institutions, operated by the bank, accused of terrorist-financing.
“The key to terrorism is funds. If that can be traced then wiping out terrorism will be easier,” said the minister.
Islami Bank has been under international pressure in the last few years after a US Senate Committee report accused it of terrorist financing.
Banks like HSBC, Citi Bank NA and Bank of America have suspended transaction with it since then.
According to Bangladesh Bank officials, the bank maintained accounts of people, who were on the UN’s suspicious people’s list.
Islami Bank authorities did not disclose information of those accounts to the central bank.
The Bangladesh Bank has been monitoring the Islami Bank for quite sometime. It appointed an ‘Observer’ to the institution in 2010.
On April 15, the Prime Minister’s Office had sent a letter to the central bank governor asking for information on the bank’s ‘corruption’.
It read, “Bangladesh Bank earlier had helped the government by providing information about the irregularities-corruptions at Islami Bank. The Prime Minister’s Office has received complaints regarding several other irregularities-corruptions.
“Details on those irregularities-corruptions are needed. Hope, you will cooperate by providing the information soon.”
The bank, widely believed to be supported by the Jamaat-e-Islami, has come under fire from pro-liberation forces for their alleged funding of Islamist groups.
The party itself is facing investigation of the International Crimes Tribunal for the crimes against humanity committed during the War of Independence.
The Board of Directors of the bank is always dominated by people linked to Jamaat-e-Islami.
According to claims of Islami Oikya Jote leaders, the incumbent Chairman Abu Naser Mohammad Abduz Zaher was a leader of Al-Badr, a vigilante group of Bengalis raised by Pakistani occupation army, in Chittagong.
Islami Bank’s former Vice-Chairman Mir Quasem Ali is a member of Jamaat central committee and now facing trial for alleged war crimes perpetrated during the 1971 Liberation War.
He is also the member (administration) of Islami Bank Foundation and a member of Ibn Sina Board of Trustee, an associate organisation of the bank.
Islami Bank’s former Chairman Shah Abdul Hannan is known to be closely linked to the party, which had opposed the nation’s independence from Pakistan in 1971.
Its Deputy Managing Director Syed Abdullah Md Saleh is the sibling of former Jamaat MP from Chouddagram, Syed Abdullah M Taher.
Source: Bd news24