The central bank yesterday revoked a remittance award given to Shahjahan Bablu three days ago after his name was found on the list of loan defaulters of Bangladesh Commerce Bank Ltd (BCBL).
Md Anwarul Islam, an assistant spokesperson of the central bank, said Bangladesh Bank has sent a letter to Janata Bank asking it to send back the citation, crest and commemorative coins awarded to Shahjahan.
“The bank proposed his name as one of its top remitters and so, we asked the state lender to take back the prizes,” he said.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Monday gave away the remittance award to Shahjahan and 36 others for sending the highest amount of remittance to the country through a programme at the Institution of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh in the capital.
A representative of Shahjahan received the award on his behalf as he could not attend the programme in person.
The central bank’s decision to award Shahjahan has created huge criticism from different corners. Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) earlier unearthed Shahjahan’s involvement in a money laundering case.
The central bank usually takes report from the BFIU to check whether an awardee has any record of money laundering. The agency also gave clearance in favour of Shahjahan.
The BFIU did not performed its role in verifying Shahjahan’s previous financial record, the central bank official said.
Shahjahan, who is a top defaulter of the BCBL, laundered Tk 200 crore through the bank in the name of exports, according to the latest investigation carried out by the BFIU.
He had exported clay-made terracotta through one of his companies – SB Exim – in order to launder the money, the report said. But the export proceeds did not enter the country.
However, Shahjahan received Tk 190 crore from the BCBL’s Dilkusha branch against the exports.
A Criminal Investigation Department probe has found Shahjahan’s involvement in the money laundering case. The Anti-Corruption Commission also unearthed his involvement in the export scam.