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Sonali to sue Hall-Mark by Feb 28

Rejaul Karim Byron

Sonali Bank is set to lodge a formal case against Hall-Mark Group by February 28 over the swindling of Tk 2,554 crore more than two years ago.
The move comes after the bank's board gave its management the deadline in a meeting last week after going through all the issues that have been holding up the process. The scam came to light in April 2012.
About the delay in filing the case, Sonali Bank Managing Director Pradip Kumar Dutta blamed it on flaws in Hall-Mark's credit documents.
Over the past one year, Sonali took opinions from six lawyers about proceeding with legal action against the disgraced company to recover the funds.

Finally the board decided to lodge two cases to retrieve the money -- one with Artha Rin Adalat and another with a civil court.Hall-Mark took out loans of Tk 2,964 crore, of which it has already adjusted Tk 410 crore. As a result, the company still owes the state-run bank Tk 2,554 crore, for which a case with Artha Rin Adalat would be filed.
Sonali Bank found that of the Tk 2,554 crore, it has necessary documents against loans worth only Tk 350 crore. The remaining sum was siphoned off using false documents.
For instance, Tk 1,000 crore was withdrawn against a “mere slip” and a case would be filed with a civil court for retrieving the money. The bank officials will also be implicated in the case as they were complicit with the forgery.
Meanwhile, the Anti-Corruption Commission has lodged 11 cases against several officials of Hall-Mark and Sonali Bank.

Published: 12:00 am Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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