Amid interrogation of former BASIC Bank chairman Sheikh Abdul Hye Bachchu, the Anti-Corruption Commission or ACC has started another case over a loan scam in the bank.
Bachchu is not named in the new case over embezzlement of Tk 78.5 million started by ACC Assistant Director Mohammad Sirajul Haque at Bangshal Police Station despite the Supreme Court’s ire over not including the ex-chairman of the bank in the 56 previous cases.
The embezzlement took place between March 2010 and October last year, according to the case dossier.
ACC spokesperson Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya told bdnews24.com that the anti-graft watchdog prosecuted Md Selim, a former manager of bank’s Babu Bazar bank who was fired as deputy managing director, Ataur Rahman, Chairman of Iksol Food and Beverage, and the firm’s Managing Director Saiful Islam in the case.
Selim was prosecuted in 40 of the previous ACC cases over the BASIC Bank loan fraud, Sirajul told bdnews24.com.
The ACC assistant director also said the bank disbursed the loan when Bachchu was chairman.
Asked why Bachchu and members of the then board of directors were not named, Sirajul said, “They will be prosecuted if their names come up in investigation.”
The ACC began questioning people in connection with the investigation into the Tk 35 billion loan fraud on Oct 22.
The former board members are being questioned after several rounds of Supreme Court observations regarding corruption at the bank.
The ACC opened an investigation into the state-run bank after allegations surfaced that Tk 35 billion in loans had been illegally distributed from the Gulshan, Dilkusha and Shantinagar branches between 2009 and 2011.
BASIC Bank is accused of giving loans without collateral and using false documents and fictitious names and organisations in violation of the rules and regulations.
After nearly four years of investigation, the ACC filed 56 cases at three police stations in Dhaka, accusing 156 individuals, including 26 bank officials. The remaining ones are connected to lending institutions and bank oversight organisations.
But the absence of Bachchu and other prominent members of the board of directors on the list of suspects had prompted controversy, forcing the ACC to question the former chairman.
Three get bail
Three former officials of the bank have secured conditional bail from the High Court in previous cases.
Syed Mamun Mahboob, a lawyer for the ACC, told reporters that the court granted bail to former deputy managing director Gazlus Sobhan in four cases.
Former international credit division general manager Md Selim and former Gulshan branch manager Shipar Ahmed got bail in two cases each.
The conditions for the bail set by bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Shahidul Karim are: the accused persons have to keep their passports at the court and cannot travel abroad without the court’s order.
The three, however, remained in jail in other cases, another ACC lawyer, Khurshid Alam, said.
“We’ll also appeal against the bail in the Appellate Division,” he added.
At the hearings for the bail petitions, the court told the lawyers that Bachchu had admitted the existence of a syndicate behind the loan fraud.
The court said financial offences, especially those related to banks, should be handled sincerely. “Otherwise the country’s economy will collapse,” the High Court bench said.
The judges also expressed ire over the ACC’s investigation and delay in charging the accused in court.
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