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Bangladesh - October 18, 2022

HC asks to find out those involved in plundering Tk 3700 crore

Impact of Daily Industry report

Golam Mostafa Jibon: The High Court yesterday asked to know what steps Bangladesh Bank has taken against the five deputy governors and the accused involved in the plundering of Tk 3,700 crore.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has been asked to submit report in this regard by October 27.
The High Court bench of Justice Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Khizir Hayat gave this order after taking into consideration the report published on The Daily Industry yesterday and a Bengali daily newspaper.
Earlier in the morning, the High Court asked the state and ACC to give their statements. After the hearing, this order was given.
Khurshid Alam Khan was the advocate for the ACC in the hearing and Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin Manik was on behalf of the state.
According to the report published in the Daily Industry newspaper and a Bengali daily, Bangladesh Industrial Finance Company Limited (BIFC) and International Leasing and Financial Services Limited (ILFSL) are responsible for financial scams involving 249 officials including five former deputy governors of Bangladesh Bank.
Prashant Kumar Halder (PK Halder) and Major (Retd.) Adbul Mannan misappropriated a huge amount of money with the connivance of these officials of the three departments of the Central Bank. These facts have emerged in the separate investigation report of the high-powered committee formed on the orders of the High Court to identify the cause and those responsible for this unprecedented irregularity. Two reports totaling 1,200 pages have already been submitted to the central bank governor.
According to the reports, a total of Tk 3,730 crore has been embezzled from BIFC and ILFSL listed in the capital market with illegal unsecured loans. Out of this, ILFSL has taken Tk 3,130 crore only in the name of Prashant Kumar Halder (PK Halder) imprisoned in India and his various organizations. And from BIFC, General Secretary Major (Retd.) Mannan and his organization took Tk 600 crores. Despite the occurrence of this misappropriation over the years, the insiders of the organization and the responsible officials of Bangladesh Bank remained silent.
It is said that, as a result of this unprecedented looting, the total assets of the two financial institutions are almost double. The total assets of ILFSL are Tk 4,598 crore. And currently the amount of liability is Tk 7,810 crores. Tk 3,130 crore has been taken in the name of Prashant Kumar Halder (PK Halder), who is incarcerated in India, and his related organizations. And BFIC’s total assets are Tk 927.29 crore, but the liability of the institution is Tk 1,835.96 crore.
The amount of money taken from this institution by Major (retd) Abdul Mannan and his related institutions is about Tk 600 crores.
According to the report, all those who were on the board of directors of the two financial institutions during the looting and embezzlement that crippled the country’s economy were the personal people of PK Halder and Major (retd) Mannan.
They collected deposits from various banks, other financial institutions and individuals. After that, these moneys have been released without any collateral to the institutions related to their interests in the name of loans. Even they gave loans to the so-called institutions, which were related to their personal interest.
In the investigation report, Bangladesh Bank’s Financial Institutions and Markets Department and Banks and Financial Institutions Inspection Department are mainly responsible for this manipulation. Three Deputy Governors, six Executive Directors, 11 General Managers (GMs), 15 Deputy General Managers (DGMs) and 124 other officials at various levels who served in the Financial Institutions and Markets Department from 2009 to 2020 were responsible for this graft. Apart from this, a total of 51 people including two deputy governors and executive directors of the Bank and Financial Institutions Inspection Department have been identified as responsible. Apart from this, two deputy governors, eight executive directors, five GMs and a total of 29 officials of the financial institution inspection department have been named in the report.
The report said, “for the failure to prevent and control the financial irregularities and illegal activities in the financial institutions and the market department and the department performing the inspection duties, each of the related officials up to the decision maker at the relevant time is responsible according to their power and rank in the order of tenure.”
In addition, the report also blames the banks that have given loans to these two institutions for years without any collateral. Apart from this, the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies, Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) and audit firms have also been held responsible for not having proper supervision.
According to the report, since 2005, loans of Tk 517 crore have been taken in the name of Major (retd) Mannan and his related institutions and relatives till 2014. After that, Bangladesh Bank made a special visit to BIFC in 2015 due to unknown reasons. All those, who served on the board of directors of BIFC before 2015 are held responsible in the report.
It has been said about ILFSL that between 2015 and 2019, PK Halder and his related non-existent institutions have embezzled a total of Tk3129.63 crore. This money has been taken by disbursing it to different institutions after sanctioning a loan in the name of one institution. In these financial irregularities, forgery and money laundering crimes, International Leasing’s credit committee, executive committee and all related members of the board of directors and related management officials were responsible according to their respective powers and ranks.

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