Thursday, January 21, 2021 | ePaper

Laundering of Tk 236cr

ACC sues 24 AB Bank officials including ex-chairman, 9 directors

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Staff Reporter :
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has filed three separate cases against 24 persons including former Chairman M Wahidul Haque, senior officials and nine directors of AB Bank Limited on charges of laundering Tk 236 crore through offshore banking in Dubai, USA and Singapore.
ACC Deputy Director
 Md Jahangir Alam, Assistant Directors Nargis Sultana and Jesmine Akter filed the cases at the ACC's integrated Dhaka Office on Thursday.
The 24 persons who were sued are former AB Chairman M Wahidul Haque, 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 and former SVP M Salahuddin.
The accused are also 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 include former directors MA Awal, Fahim ul Haque, Firoz Ahmed, Syed Afzal Hasan Uddin, Shishir Ranjan Bose, BB Saha Roy, M Mesbaul Haque, Zakia SR Khan and Dr M Imtiaz Hossain also.
A businessman named NM Tayebu Rashid is also sued in one case.
Earlier, the ACC found another incident of money laundering, to the tune of about Tk 236 crore, by AB Bank Ltd using its offshore banking service.
After an inquiry for about three and a half years, the relevant ACC inquiry team detected the involvement of 25 people, mostly from the then board, including the bank's Chairman M Wahidul Haque, said sources at the ACC.
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, he said.
He said that 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, USA and Dubai filed applications to the bank for loans from its offshore banking unit during the time, the official said, adding that the companies did not exist.
The three fake companies are Sematcity General Trading LLC, ATZ Communications Pte Ltd and Euro Cars Holdings Pte Ltd.
According to the findings, the companies opened accounts with the bank after they had submitted the applications for the credit.
Of the three companies, one 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 United Arab Emirates.
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 Haque.
According to commission'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. On January 25, 2018, the commission arrested Wahidul Haque, Abu Hena Mustafa Kamal and businessman Saiful Haque.

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