ACC sues 53 Bismillah Group officials, bankers | The Daily Star
12:44 AM, November 04, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:19 AM, November 04, 2013

Tk 1,174cr Scam

ACC sues 53 Bismillah Group officials, bankers

The Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday filed 12 cases against 53 top officials of five banks and the controversial terry towel maker Bismillah Group for misappropriation of Tk 1,174.46 crore.
Thirteen of the accused are proprietors and top officials of Bismillah Group and its sister concerns -- Shaharish Composite Factory Ltd, Alpha Composite Towel Ltd, Shaharish KT Ltd, Hindul Wali Ltd and Bismillah Towel Ltd -- and the rest officials of five banks -- Janata Bank, Prime Bank, Jamuna Bank, Shahjalal Islami Bank Ltd and Premier Bank.
The cases were filed under the anti-money laundering act, said Gulshan Anwar Pradhan, assistant director of ACC and part of the five-member team enquiring the scam.
If convicted under the anti-money laundering act, the accused may get up to 10 years in prison and their moveable and immovable properties might also be confiscated, said a source in ACC.
The controversial group along with its sister concerns, most of which are fake, swindled the money with the help of bank officials between June 2006 and October last year mostly through LTR [loan against trust receipt] using names of fake foreign buyers and forged documents, the enquiry found.
Borrowers usually do not need to put their property as collateral to get loans from banks through LTR as such loans are given on trust provided that some documents are maintained, said ACC investigators.
Of the swindled money, Tk 990.03 crore was funded (meaning given in cash), while Tk 184.43 crore was non-funded.
The accused from the controversial group include its managing director Khaza Solaiman Anwar Chowdhury, his wife and also the group's chairman Nawrin Hasib, his mother-in-law Abida Hasib, father Shafiqul Anwar Chowdhury, sister Nahida Anwar Khan and brother-in-law Khandaker Mohammad Moin Uddin, all of whom are directors of the group.
Meanwhile, an official of Prime Bank upon condition of anonymity said the bank's deputy managing director Yasin Ali, also the head of audit and compliance, was wrongly implicated in the FIR. Ali joined the bank on August 28, 2011, while the last loan approval was given to the group in July 2011.
But Syed Iqbal Hossain, who led the five-member ACC investigation team, told reporters that several loans were disbursed to Bismillah Group even after August 2011, by which time Ali took up his new position as the head of audit and compliance of Prime Bank.
“If he [Ali] was alert, his division could have halted the disbursement,” Hossain, also the deputy director of ACC, added.
Of the 12 cases, nine were filed with Motijheel police station, two with Ramna and one with New Market.
Chowdhury along with many top officials of the group have fled abroad with a great portion of the swindled amount.

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