Scamsters out to discredit probe | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 17, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 17, 2011

Stock Investigation Report

Scamsters out to discredit probe

An influential section of businessmen and politicians, who allegedly siphoned off large sums of money from the share market, is now trying to discredit the government's probe committee report on the securities market scam to avert punishment.
The section is also lobbying hard to ensure that the government agencies do not go head with further investigations beyond the primary findings. Finance ministry sources said the section has even threatened different policymakers with putting the stock market through another turmoil if the government proceeds with any investigation.
A four-member probe committee led by Krishi Bank Chairman Khondker Ibrahim Khaled had prepared the report.
The group has targeted Khondker Ibrahim Khaled. It wants to make him controversial.
This was evident in a news item of a news agency Friday where Ibrahim Khaled was quoted as saying on a television channel that he wanted share-market scamsters tried under martial law.
Khaled had given an interview to Bangla Vision television channel which was broadcast Thursday night. He was discussing legal difficulties in trying the scamsters.
“But I had not said anything like that. I was saying under a democratic system if we take someone to the court, we need to take very hard evidence and proof of allegations. Otherwise, we cannot get justice properly. But, this does not happen under the martial law, where you don't need much evidence or proof,” he said clarifying his position on the matter.
“Since we are operating under a democratic government, we have submitted our report with substantial evidence and proof. Now in order to prosecute the accused people, the government should gather more hard evidence so that the guilty cannot get away,” he said.
The veteran banker added that the probe committee report had enough ammunition to prove manipulation by certain share-market players in the court of law. But there were some cases of manipulation that needed to be investigated deeper before going to court.
Talking to The Daily Star Saturday, Khaled noted that a quarter was hatching a conspiracy over the report. Some people do not want the report's recommendations to be carried out. “If these recommendations are implemented, it would be very difficult to manipulate the share market in the future,” he said.
Those who want to manipulate the market have a lot of money and power. They are using money to divert the focus on the recommendations and make the probe committee report controversial. “They are also trying to make the government take a coercive stance against the probe committee,” Ibrahim Khaled pointed out.
Khaled's committee had only two months to dig into the scam in which small investors lost around Tk 20,000 crore in the primary share market. The committee pinpointed around 60 players responsible for manipulating the market for their own gain. Interestingly, these 60 players represent businessmen and politicians from Awami League and BNP as well as civil and military officials and those in the regulatory authority.
Some of these players are also involved in the media.
The report submitted on April 7 had recommended immediate removal of the chairman of the Securities Exchange Commission. The government has not removed him. The government had earlier said it would release the probe report sometime this week but on April 13, Finance Minister AMA Muhith told journalists that it would not be possible to do so as the government would need more time to scrutinise the content.
Meanwhile, Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday demanded the government take immediate action against share-market plunderers.
“Those who plundered Tk 20,000 crore from the share market and siphoned the money out of the country are the evil spirits of West Pakistani exploiters,” he said at his party standing committee meeting.

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