Unprecedented loan scam
Shahid Reza, Azam J Chowdhury are among defaulters
Staff Correspondent: Non-banking financial institution- International Leasing and Finance Services Limited (ILFSL) is on the verge of bankruptcy due to unprecedented loan scams and loss of customer deposits. Apart from Prashant Kumar Halder (PK Halder), dozens of other companies have also grabbed about thousand crores of taka.
Sources said, names of two companies- one owned by former chairman of Mercantile Bank AKM Shahid Reza and another owned by former chairman of Prime Bank Azam J Chowdhury-have come to the forefront.
Although an impartial board was installed in ILFSL with the intervention of the High Court, almost all the money deposited by the customers has been siphoned off.
It is alleged that the defaulters are threatening the ILFSL if the board now wants to return the money. And some have moved abroad by misappropriating almost the entire amount of the loan money. When asked, ILFSL managing director Moshiur Rahman told Daily Industry, “Our defaulted loans are huge. We are trying to realize it. The defaulters say we are increasing their defaults though there is no scope to increase it. Because, if we give false information to the court, the responsibility will fall on us. Hopefully, our debt recovery will increase in the future, he said.
According to some related sources including Bangladesh Bank, ILFSL, almost the entire bank and financial sector is questionable in the loan scam. The directors are conspiring to embezzle money from each other’s banks.
In the meantime, some institutions in the country have almost gone bankrupt due to anonymous looting of customer deposits in banks and financial institutions.
This is how ILFSL is at risk. Of the total Tk 4,130 crores of loans given by it, the default amount is 91 percent or Tk 3,756 crores. It is known that only 12 companies have stolen about Tk1,000 crore. Earlier, PK Halder alone looted Tk 1,600 crore from the company.
Spokesperson and Executive Director of Bangladesh Bank. MejbaulHaque told Daily Industry that Bangladesh Bank allows financial institutions with specific policies. If there are defects in their activities, observers are given to take care of them. If someone still commits a crime, they will be brought to justice.
Meanwhile, Padma Weaving Limited owned by AKM Shahid Raza took a loan of Tk 117 crore from ILFSL. Currently, its amount stands at Tk 200 crores. It is reported that Shahid Reza has rescheduled the loan but is unwilling to pay the dues. So, the authorities are considering going to court.
AKM Shahid Reza said, “One can’t suddenly say anything without knowing about the loan.” Business has suffered after emergence of global pandemic Corona. We are still trying to settle the debt. In regular contact with International Leasing. I am planning to pay off the loan even if I need to sell my flat to avoid the trouble of litigation. I don’t want to go any further with this. Everything that needs to be done to solve the problem is in process.
PFI Securities, a subsidiary of Prime Finance and Investment under East Coast Group owned by Azam J Chowdhury, took a loan of Tk 40 crore. Once rescheduled, PFI securities default on loan repayments. At present the total debt is Tk 108.91 crore. A case was filed in Money Debt Court-2 for debt collection, 19 cases of check dishonor and one case of check fraud were filed in CMM Court of Dhaka. Even so, there is no progress in getting the money back.
Assistant Vice President of PFI Securities. Nuruzzaman said, ‘I took responsibility not long ago. However, our loan deals with International Leasingwas happened in 2010. There was a settlement of that debt. The loan is rescheduled. And the complaint that the dues are not being paid, it seems that it is not entirely correct.
Barnali Fabrics Limited took a loan of Tk 25 crore. The status stands at Tk 50 crores. The managing director of the company, engineer MA Rashid, is now allegedly absconding in the United States. Benetex Industries Limited took a loan of Tk 28.85 crore. Now it stands at Tk 40 crore. A case was filed in Dhaka Finance Court-2 for recovery of dues. Benetex Industries MD MA Bari Engineer MA Rashid Bey.
Madina Textile Mills Limited took a loan of Tk 7 crores. The outstanding balance is Tk 8.75 crore. There have been four cases for debt collection. Shoaib Sarwar, managing director of Madina Textile Mills Limited, said, “The International Leasing Authority has not presented correct information about our loan in court. We took a loan of Tk 5 crores. They showed more interest. And the actual amount is not supposed to be Tk 8.75 crore.
Research organization Policy Research Institute (PRI) executive director Ahsan H Mansoor said it is the government’s responsibility to return money to depositors of International Leasing who are at risk due to defaulted loans. But the matter is not easy. Even if the original is returned, there is no possibility of interest.
Mostafa Group-affiliated Rahman Shipbreakers Ltd of Chattogram and MM Ship Breakers Ltd. Have taken Tk10 crore as loan in two accounts. Due to default, the amount stands at Tk 27.5 crore. Hefajutur Rahman, the chairman of the main institution, is defaulting on the loan repayment. A check dishonor case is also going on against him.
Rahman Chemicals took a loan of Tk 50 crore; Now the debt stands at Tk 86.19 crore. Simtex Textiles took a loan of Tk 57.5 crore; Now it stands at Tk 77.28 crore. Emer Enterprise takes a loan of Tk 28 crores; Now Tk 64.67 crore is due. G&G Enterprises took a loan of Tk 30 crore; Now it stands at Tk 77.17 crore. Complete Education and Alternative Foundation took a loan of Tk 11 crore; Now it stands at Tk 35 crores.
Samannaz Super Oil Limited took a loan of Tk 30 crores; Tk 70 crores due with interest. MST Pharma & Healthcare Limited takes a loan of Tk 60 crore; Now it stands at Tk 88.59 crore. The total debt of International Leasing to these institutions is more than Tk 934 crore.
Trying to communicate with the related persons of these institutions, it is known that some foreigners have fled, some have closed the institution and cut off communication.
Iftekharuzzaman, Executive Director of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), said that it takes time to bring those who smuggle and loot money to justice. Many criminals get away with loopholes in the law. Because of this, the same crime happens again and again. If this continues, the economy will be hampered, he added.
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