ACC may seek info from UAE over AB Bank's money laundering
Investigators of the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday requested their top officials to seek information about an entity from UAE-based Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank centring a case involving laundering of Tk 165 crore.
The ACC interrogated former AB Bank chairman M Wahidul, ex-managing directors M Fazlur Rahman and Shamim Ahmed Chaudhury and former head of corporate treasury Abu Hena Mostafa Kamal at its Segunbagicha headquarters in the capital. They, along with one businessman named Saiful Haque and three others, are accused in the case ACC filed with Motijheel Police Station on January 25.
In December 2013, the AB Bank's board of directors approved investing Tk 165 crore or $20 million in a Singapore-based fundraising and investment company, Pinnacle Global Fund Pte Ltd, through the bank's offshore banking unit.
In February 2014, the unit laundered the money to an account of the entity, Cheng Bao General Trading LLC, which was mediating the investment deal on behalf of Pinnacle.
Cheng immediately withdrew the money and closed the account, which was with the UAE-based bank.
“If the commission approves, we will ask for information about the directors of Cheng Bao and the amount of money in the bank before the transfer of Tk 165 crore,” said an ACC official.
One way the information can be sought is through the Bangladesh embassy in Abu Dhabi, said sources.
In another option, the investigators suggested getting Bangladesh's attorney general to convince the UAE's law ministry into accepting a request for legal assistance, they added.
“Our primary goal is to retrieve the money. The commission could employ any option,” said the ACC official.
On Thursday, the ACC asked the central bank's Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit to request its counterpart in the UAE to give detailed information about Cheng Bao.