No money laundering in Trust Bank
The central bank yesterday said the Trust Bank's loss of about Tk 22.41 crore was not due to money laundering rather it was transactional loss.
"The bank incurred the loss dealing in foreign exchange. We have no evidence that indicate the loss was due to money laundering," Ziaul Hassan Siddiqui, deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank, told reporters.
Reporters asked the question to the Bangladesh Bank governor who referred it to his deputy for the answer.
The issue came to the limelight when Bangla daily Amar Desh published a news item in this regard. Amar Desh publisher and former energy adviser Mahmudur Rahman also tried to file a case in this connection.
However, The Daily Star investigation found that inter-bank foreign exchange trading caused losses to at least eight banks around six years ago. The issue has suddenly been twisted and wrongly labelled as "money laundering" even though Bangladesh Bank had resolved them as transactional losses.
TRUST BANK COMPLAINT SENT TO ACC
Amar Desh Publications Ltd Chairman Mahmudur Rahman yesterday sent a complaint to the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) accusing its Chairman Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury of laundering Tk 22.41 crore from Trust Bank Ltd, and requested an investigation.
Mahmudur Rahman, who is also a former Board of Investment executive chairman, in a news release yesterday said he sent to the ACC the money laundering complaint along with all 'necessary papers and evidence' for investigation.
He mentioned that he also sent copies of the complaint to the ACC chairman and ACC Director General (Admin) Col Hanif Iqbal.
Hanif Iqbal however said he did not receive any such complaint yesterday.
The complaint was sent to the ACC after its chairman on Sunday said if the allegation of money laundering against him was brought before the commission, it would look into the matter.
In a letter attached with the complaint, Mahmudur Rahman said according to the annual audit report prepared by Hoda Vasi Chowdhury & Co, the auditor of the bank, former chairman of Trust Bank Ltd, Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury, 'misappropriated Tk 22.41 crore through money laundering'.
On Saturday, Mahmudur Rahman attempted to file a case against the ACC chief in connection with the allegation.
Ramna police refused to record the case, saying they are not the appropriate police station for filing the case with, while Motijheel police also refused to record the case saying recording of any money laundering case requires approval from the Bangladesh Bank.
In the complaint Mahmudur was trying to file with the police, he said as Trust Bank is owned by the Army Welfare Trust, Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury was its chairman while he was the army chief, and he caused a loss of Tk 20.29 crore to the bank by 'misappropriating the amount for personal benefit through money laundering' in collusion with some bank officials, but 'showed it as a loss incurred in the foreign currency exchange sector'.
Mahmudur also mentioned that the Army Welfare Trust owns 3,49,992 of the bank's total 3,50,000 shares.