A Dhaka court today asked Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to submit by August 28 the probe report of the money laundering case filed against former chief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha and 10 others.
Judge KM Emrul Kayesh of the Senior Special Judge’s Court of Dhaka passed the order after ACC sent the First Information Report of the case to the court.
On Wednesday, ACC filed a case against SK Sinha and 10 others on charges of misappropriating and laundering about Tk 4 crore from the then Farmers Bank in 2016.
The accused include the bank’s former MD AKM Shamim, Senior Executive Vice President and former head of Credit Division Gazi Salahuddin, First Vice President of Credit Division Swapan Kumar Roy, Senior Vice President and former branch manager Zia Uddin Ahmed, First Vice President Shafiuddin Askary and Vice President Lutful Haque.
The other accused are one Shahjahan of Tangail’s Sreehoripur village; Ranjit Chandra Saha of the district’s Jodunathpur village, his wife Santri Roy and nephew Niranjan Chandra Saha.
According to the case statement, Shahjahan and Niranjan opened two separate current accounts with Farmers Bank’s Gulshan Branch on November 6, 2016.
The next day, each of them applied for loan of Tk 2 crore from the accounts.
The two used the same residential address -- House 51, Road 12, Sector 10, Uttara Residential area -- in their bank documents, including loan applications. The ACC, during investigation, found that the house is owned by Sinha, the case statement said.
Shahjahan and Ranjit are known to be well acquainted with former Chief Justice Sinha, it said.
The two account holders mortgaged 32 acres of land, owned by Santri Roy, in Savar against the loan applications, the statement said, adding, “Without any scrutiny, any analysis of records and with disregard to banking rules, the then manager of Gulshan branch of the bank Zia Uddin Ahmed, operation manager Lutful Haque and credit in-charge Shafiuddin Askary prepared a loan proposal within hours.”
Later, Ziauddin himself went to the bank’s head office in this regard. Credit Committee officer Swapan prepared and signed an office note and took it to the head of credit Gazi Salahuddin who also signed the paper without any scrutiny.
They then took the loan proposal to the then managing director AKM Shamim.
“As per the credit rules of the bank, managing directors are not authorised to sanction any loan. However, he [Shamim] approved the loan proposal,” reads the statement.
A day after the loan money arrived in the two accounts, two pay orders, each worth Tk 2 crore, were issued from the bank branch, it said.
On November 9, 2016, the pay orders were deposited to Sinha’s account with Sonali Bank’s Supreme Court branch, the statement said, adding the ex-CJ withdrew the money on different dates.
Sinha also transferred about Tk 2.23 crore to his brother’s Shahjalal Bank’s Uttara branch account on November 28, 2016 and withdrew the money in cash and through cheque.
“During the transaction, Ranjit Chandra Saha used chief justice’s name to create influence,” said the statement.
Ranjit and Shahjahan are childhood friends, the statement said, adding that, “From primary investigation and testimonies it appears that they are poor and destitute and were never involved in any business.”
“Accused former chief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha misguided them, used Ranjit Saha and took signature on bank documents. They misappropriated Tk 4 crore and the money is yet to be paid,” the statement said.
“For the ill purpose of his own benefit, former chief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, abusing his power and with the help of others, took a loan [using fake documents] and transferred the money to his account for misappropriation … thus [he] committed offence under the Money Laundering Prevention Act, 2012,” it added.
Loan scam-hit Farmers Bank was renamed Padma Bank as the troubled lender looked to get an image makeo-ver. Padma Bank started its journey in March.