Eleven officials of Prime Bank swindled Tk 92.65 crore out of depositors, creating fake loan recipients, in yet another blow for the country's under-pressure banking sector.
The scam surfaced as the Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday approved a charge sheet against the now suspended 11 officials, including its vice-president HM Zakir Hossain, and 19 traders in this connection.
A top ACC official said the swindlers, in connivance with the traders, misappropriated the money from the bank's Islamic banking division at the capital's Dilkusha between 2006 and 2012.
Quoting the case statement, the ACC official said the bankers arranged the loans in the name of fake loan recipients and later withdrew the money by using the bank accounts of the traders.
The latest disclosure highlights the lack of monitoring in the banking sector, which has recently been hit by several high profile scandals.
However, the financial felony has so far been limited to state-run banks, particularly Sonali Bank and BASIC Bank.
Sonali Bank's Ruposhi Bangla Hotel Branch disbursed more than Tk 2,600 crore in loans to the controversial company Hall-Mark between October 2011 and May 2012. The money was taken out of the bank against fake documents and through creating fake companies.
In all, scamsters embezzled about Tk 3,547 crore in depositors' money from the Ruposhi Bangla branch during the period.
In the case of BASIC Bank, about Tk 4,500 crore was taken in loans, also using fake papers and fake companies between 2010 and 2013.
Prime Bank lodged the money laundering case in March 2012, naming only Kamrul Ahmed Ferdous, former executive officer of the branch.
The case was later handed over to the ACC for investigation. The probe found the accused persons were involved in the scam.
The accused bankers included Nurul Amin, former cash in-charge, Miran Hossain, senior executive officer, Nasir Uddin Bali, first assistant vice-president, and Isbahul Bar Chowdhury, former branch manager.
The accused traders include Sajedur Rahman, proprietor of New SK Enterprise in Kakrail, Shahadat Islam, proprietor of KS Enterprise in Mirpur, Kawsar Ali Khan, owner of SL Enterprise in Mirpur and Taslim Alam, owner of Three Tec of Hazaribagh.