Tuesday, February 19, 2019 | ePaper

JBL suspends 10 officials

No steps against Crescent Group

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Kazi Zahidul Hasan  :
The authorities of Janata Bank Limited (JBL) suspended 10 officials of the bank in connection with Crescent Group's Tk 408 crore export subsidy fraud.
Two of them are those who performed as managers of JBL's Imamganj Corporate Branch where the scandal took place in between the year 2017 and 2018.
The board of directors of the bank approved their suspension in its meeting held on March 22.
It came up with the decision based on an internal report, produced by JBL officials tasked with probing the scam. The report found their 'apparent connivance' and risk control and monitoring lapses in many areas of the bank's in line management.
The board also served show cause notices to bank's former and incumbent Chief Executive Officers  (CEOs) for their failure to take necessary risk control measures.   
Abdus Salam Azad, the incumbent CEO of the bank, however, could not be reached for comment despite several attempts on his cell phone.   
JBL, the second largest state-controlled lender, earlier hogged media headlines over AnonTex Group's loan scam amounting to Tk 5,504 crore. The loan was disbursed in violation of the single borrower exposure limit though the Group failed to make regular installment payments of its previous loan, leading the bank to a massive capital shortfall.
The government last month provided Tk 400 crore recapitalization fund to rescue the scam-hit bank.    
"Ten officials have already faced suspension due to their alleged involvement in the scam. Process have also been initiated to take departmental action against them," a high official of the bank told The New Nation yesterday, asking not to be named because he is not entitled to talk with media.
However, of the bank's board it is yet to take legal steps against the Crescent Group, which drew the export subsidy against three of its subsidiary companies in the fiscal year 2017-18 by adapting unfair means.
The Janata Bank authorities recently asked the companies--Crescent Leather Products Limited, Rupali Composite Leatherwear Limited and Remix Footwear Limited--to return the government fund to the bank but it refused to refund making the situation further complex.
Earlier, the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU), an anti-money-laundering arm of the Central Bank, exposed the scam while conducting an investigation into the bank's Imamganj Corporate Branch.

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