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Laundering of Tk 236cr: Ex-AB Bank chairman, 9 directors, officials sued

Published : Thursday, 26 November, 2020 at 5:30 PM  Count : 500

Laundering of Tk 236cr: Ex-AB Bank chairman, 9 directors, officials sued

Laundering of Tk 236cr: Ex-AB Bank chairman, 9 directors, officials sued

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has filed three separate cases against 23 persons including former chairman of the Arab Bangladesh Bank Limited Wahidul Huque, nine directors and senior officials on charges of embezzling Tk 236 crore of the bank.

They were sued for embezzling the amount after approving Tk 236 crore loans to three fake companies of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Singapore through the AB Bank's offshore banking unit (OBU).

The three fake companies are Sematcity General Trading LLC, ATZ Communications Pte Ltd and Euro Cars Holdings Pte Ltd.

The money was laundered to Singapore and Dubai between 2014 and 2016.

In collusion with a section of the bank management and officials, three overseas companies using addresses in Singapore and Dubai filed applications to the bank for loans from its offshore banking unit during the time, sources at the ACC said, adding that the companies did not exist.

The cases were filed at the ACC's Dhaka Office on Thursday.

ACC deputy director Md Jahangir Alam and assistant director Nargis Sultana filed the cases.

The 23 persons who were sued by the ACC are former AB chairman M Wahidul Huque, former managing director (MD) Shamim Ahmed Chowdhury, former deputy managing directors (DMDs) Mashiur Rahman Chowdhury and Sajjad Hossain, Operations Manager of Khatunganj Branch M Lokman Hossain, former SVP of Chittagong EPZ Branch M Shahjahan, former Principal Officer M Arif Newaz, former AVP M Salahuddin.

The accused also include former EVP M Shajahan of the AB Bank Limited head office, EVP M Aminur Rahman, former EVP Sharfuddin Ahmed, Business Division's AVP Kazi Ashiqur Rahman, former EVP Kazi Nasim Ahmed, former SEVP Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, former SEVP and member Credit Committee Salma Akter.

The list of the accused also include former directors MA Awal, Fahim ul Huque, Firoz Ahmed, Syed Afzal Hasan Uddin, Shishir Ranjan Bose, BB Saha Roy, M Mesbaul Huque and Dr M Imtiaz Hossain.

Earlier, the ACC found another incident of money laundering, to the tune of about Tk 236 crore, by AB Bank Ltd using its OBU.

After an inquiry for about three and a half years, the relevant ACC inquiry team detected the involvement of 25 people, mostly form the then AB Bank Limited's board, including the bank's chairman M Wahidul Huque, said the ACC sources.

The sources said that three separate cases would be filed in this regard soon as the team led by Jahangir Alam had already submitted their findings to the commission seeking approval for filing the cases.

Of the 25 people, about 18 will be prosecuted in all three cases.

According to the findings, the companies opened accounts with the bank after they had submitted the applications for the loans.

It was shown in the loan approval documents that one company received Tk 60.40 crore, another Tk 14.88 crore and the other Tk 160.80 crore, the official said.

On March 5, the ACC, in connection with another money laundering incident, approved a charge sheet against Wahidul Haque and seven others on charge of their alleged involvement in laundering around Tk 165 crore to the UAE.

The seven other accused are AB Bank's director Syed Afzal Hasan Uddin, its former head of financial institutions and treasury Abu Hena Mustafa Kamal, its former managing directors M Fazlur Rahman and Shamim Ahmed Chaudhury, head of offshore banking unit in Chittagong Mohammad Lokman, vice-president Mohammad Mahfuzul Islam, and businessman Saiful Huque.

According to the ACC's findings, the eight suspects laundered the sum in collusion with each other between September 2013 and February 2014 in gross violation of the country's laws.

On December 28, 2017, during interrogations, Wahid admitted that he had been involved in the money laundering incident, he said.

On January 25, 2018, the commission arrested Wahidul Haque, Abu Hena Mustafa Kamal and businessman Saiful Haque.


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