BASIC Bank Loan Scam: 50 ghost firms traced
BASIC Bank has finally been able to trace 50 firms which took loans from the bank showing fake documents with the help of its former chairman Abdul Hye Bachchu.
Seven borrowers, however, are still to be indentified although three years have passed since the government constituted a new bank board following Bachchu's resignation, says the parliamentary committee on estimates.
Quoting BASIC Bank MD Khondoker Md Iqbal, AKM Zahangir Hossain, a member of the committee, said the new management took one and a half years to identify the companies.
“Many of the borrowers [who took loans during Bachchu's tenure] were politically and socially influential. They are influential people from my party as well as other parties,” said the ruling Awami League lawmaker.
On Sunday, a committee meeting discussed several issues of the scam-hit BASIC Bank and Sonali Bank. Both the banks submitted respective reports on their overall situation as well as on the defaulted loans.
In its report, state-owned BASIC Bank gave the committee a list of 628 defaulting firms which owed Tk 6,538 crore to the bank till June 30.
According to report, the number of companies which owe over Tk 100 crore each to the bank is 11. Together, they defaulted loans of Tk 1,256 crore.
The number of companies defaulting on a loan of Tk 50 crore to Tk 100 crore each is 30. The total amount of defaulted loan here is Tk 2,105 crore.
The number of firms which owe Tk 10 crore to Tk 50 crore each to the bank is 95 and together, they owe the scam-hit bank Tk 2,403 crore.
As many as 50 clients owe Tk 5 crore to Tk 10 crore each to the bank. They have defaulted on loan of Tk 361 crore.
The companies with defaulted loans of Tk 1 crore to 5 crore each is 137. Together, they owe the bank Tk 326 crore. The number of companies which have a defaulted loan of below one crore each is 305. The amount of defaulted loan from them is Tk 88 crore, shows the report.
There are some loan defaulters who belong to the same family.
The top defaulter is Well Tex Ltd owned by Majedul Haque Chisty Shameem and the firm's defaulted loan is Tk 128.99 crore.
Majedul's other companies Abid Dyeing Mills Ltd defaulted on a loan of Tk 44.45 crore and Anan Socks defaulted on a loan of Tk 14.65 crore.
His brother Md Mahabubul Haque Chisty, known as Babul Chisty, is also among the loan defaulters. His firm EFS International owed Tk 53.67 crore to BASIC Bank. Mahabubul is a director and former chairman of Farmers Bank.
Mahabubul could not be reached over phone for comments.
Delta System Ltd came second in the defaulters' list with its owner Faizul Hoque Shikder owing Tk 128.22 crore to the bank.
Current JP lawmaker from a reserved seat Mahajabeen Murshed's IG Navigation Ltd came third in the list. The firm owes Tk 119.95 crore.
“Somehow, we have been caught in the scam of the former BASIC Bank chairman. We have taken the loan and we will definitely pay it back,” she told The Daily Star yesterday.
Her two brothers-in-law are also among the defaulters, shows the report.
Faisal Murad Ibrahim became a defaulter after his firm Bay Navigation Ltd stopped paying back installments against a loan of Tk 116.38 crore, while Rashed Murad Ibrahim's MRF Trade House Ltd owes Tk 58.36 crore to the bank.
The parliamentary committee recommended publishing in the newspapers the names of firms which defaulted above Tk 50 crore of the BASIC BANK money.
The committee directed BASIC bank to send it a list of those involved with the irregularities in giving out loans and information on actions taken against them.
In reply, BASIC Bank told the committee that in order to realise the loans, it filed cases with Artha Rin Adalat. But many of the firms in question have filed writ petitions with the High Court.
The number of on-trial cases at the end of last month stood at 326. Together, these firms owed Tk 4,535 crore to the bank.
The loans were given to the wife and children of the people involved with the fake organisations, says the report.
Committee member Zahangir Hossain, quoting BASIC Bank MD Khondoker Md Iqbal, said the former chairman of the bank made a huge mess while giving out the loans.
The MD told the committee meeting that while granting loans the former chairman did not go by any rules of the central bank, the Banking Division and the Basic Bank, said Zahangir.
The committee then instructed BASIC Bank to submit a detailed report on the 57 firms by January next.
Meanwhile, Sonali Bank has submitted a list of its top 20 loan defaulters to the committee. Together, those 20 defaulted on loans of Tk 3,234 crore.
The largest state bank also provided the committee with a list of the firms from which it has realised loan money. Till last month, only Tk 14 crore were realised from those companies.
Its top defaulters include TM Brothers Group, which defaulted on a loan of Tk 481 crore, and Hall-Mark Group for Tk 479 crore in unpaid debt.
The committee also asked for sending it a list of the Sonali Bank branches which counted losses for the last five years in a row and also to close down those branches.
Till July 31, the number of loss-making branches of Sonali Bank bank was 314. The state-run bank has a total of 1,210 branches.