A Dhaka court yesterday ordered the Anti-Corruption Commission to confiscate the moveable and immoveable properties of former Farmers Bank director Mahabubul Haque Chisty and his wife Ruzi Chisty in connection with a case over laundering Tk 160 crore.
Senior Special Judge KM Imrul Kayes of Dhaka passed the order after ACC Deputy Director Shamsul Alam, also the investigation officer of the case, submitted a petition on Tuesday seeking an order for attachment of the couple's properties, ACC Public Prosecutor Mahmud Hossain Jahangir told The Daily Star.
Attachment is a legal process by which a court, at the request of a creditor, designates specific property owned by the debtor to be transferred to the creditor, or sold for the benefit of the creditor.
On April 10, the ACC arrested Chisty, former chairman of Farmers Bank's audit committee, his son Rashedul Haque Chisty, the bank's senior vice president Zia Uddin Ahmed and first vice president Muhammad Masudur Rahman Khan.
Earlier, the ACC deputy director had filed the case with Gulshan Police Station, accusing six people, including the four. The other two are Mahabubul's wife Ruzi Chisty and ex-manager of the bank's Gulshan Corporate Branch Delwar Hossain.
After their arrest, a Dhaka court placed Mahabubul on five-day remand and the others on four day remand each. After being quizzed, the four were sent to jail.
The ACC probe found that Tk 138.82 crore was deposited with the current accounts of Bakshiganj Jute Spinners Ltd, owned by Mahabubul's son, wife and daughter, at Farmers Bank's Bakshiganj and Gulshan branches in between November 18, 2013 and January 30 this year.
Later, the entire amount was withdrawn in cash.
Though the transactions were suspicious, Zia and Delwar who were managers of Bakhsiganj and Gulshan branches respectively at that time, didn't inform Bangladesh Bank about it, and thus abetted the laundering of the money, reads the case statement.
Besides, at least seven suspicious transactions of more than Tk 13 crore were made involving bank accounts of Mahabubul and his son, according to the ACC.
On January 8, 2014, Tk 2 crore was suspiciously transferred to Mahabubul's savings account at Farmers Bank's Gulshan Corporate Branch from a current account of Saif Powertek Ltd.
Besides, eight pay orders worth Tk 1.34 crore were issued against Mahabubul and his family members from different branches of Farmers Bank under suspicious circumstances.
Examining the bank documents, the ACC also found that 16 more pay orders worth Tk 1.80 crore were issued against Rashed Enterprise, owned by Mahabubul, in a similar way.
Former Farmers Bank chairman Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir and Mahabubul was at the centre of controversies surrounding the Farmers Bank, according to two probe reports prepared by Bangladesh Bank in 2014 and 2016.
They violated rules and were involved in irregularities in approving loans, bypassing the executive committee and branch recommendations, according to the reports.
Later, the central bank asked them to resign from the bank board last year and they did so on November 27. In the following month, Farmers Bank's board of directors was restructured and four state banks and state-owned Investment Corporation of Bangladesh injected Tk 715 crore to save the bank from severe financial crisis.
BB FINDINGS ON MAHABUBUL
The BB investigation found that Mahabubul, in violation of banking rules, granted an overdraft loan facility of Tk 5 crore to Prime Islami Securities, a client at the bank's Motijheel branch, without placing the loan proposal at any meeting of the executive committee.
He also unilaterally approved a loan of Tk 2.50 crore to Saif Powertec without any recommendations from the bank's Gulshan branch where the company applied for a loan of Tk 3 crore on July 3, 2014.
The executive body headed by Mahabubul granted a Tk 8 crore loan to United Bricks and Fultola Filling Station on March 5, 2014, without taking any credit proposal from the branch.
On the same day, it also approved a credit limit of Tk 15 crore to Urban Design and Development against an under-construction flat valued at Tk 5.91 crore.
According to the BB, the committee gave its approval to a term-loan of Tk 16 crore and a working capital of Tk 2 crore in favour of Chittagong Fisheries, a client at the bank's Gulshan branch, for purchase of a fishing trawler.
The loan was granted before the bank's branch prepared the credit proposal, said the BB.
Mahabubul approved a loan of Tk 20 crore to MS International though the bank's Gulshan branch recommended approval of a Tk 16 crore loan.
He also granted a Tk 12 crore loan to Emerald Foods, ignoring the observations of the bank's managing director and deputy managing director that the firm's collateral for the loan was insufficient.
The BB probe also unearthed that the private bank approved a Tk 17 crore loan to Index Housing, flouting banking rules.
Mahabubul sanctioned the loan without even placing the loan proposal before the board. The bank's head office initially rejected the proposal, but Mahabubul approved the loan anyway.
SONALI BANK SCAM CASE
The Anti-Corruption Commission has approved the charge sheet against two businessmen and former deputy managing director of Sonali Bank Kazi Fakhrul Islam in connection with a case filed over misappropriating about Tk 3.46 crore from the bank in 2009.
The two businessmen are Jagoron Textile Mills Limited Chairman Jahangir Alam Miyaji and Managing Director Mahbubur Rahman.
However, the anti-graft watchdog didn't include in the charge sheet names of some others who were accused in the case, said ACC sources.
According to the charge sheet, Fakhrul used his subordinate officers in embezzling Tk 3.46 crore from the state-owned bank.
The ACC had filed the case with Siddirganj Police Station on November 8, 2016, accusing around 8-10 people, including the trio and other bank officials.
ACC Deputy Director Shamsul Alam, also the investigation officer of the case, found that Jagoron Textile Mills already went bankrupt and was closed.
Even after that, the bank officials increased the factory's LC limit to Tk 300 lakh from Tk 125 lakh and opened 10 back-to-back letters of credit to export Polo shirts and T-shirts illegally.
Later, all the products were sold at local market flouting the condition of the LCs. Though the bank authorities were aware of it, they did not take any action against the firm. Rather they paid Tk 2.94 lakh to the textile mills.
The bank also paid the Mills Tk 52 lakh in pre shipment credit.
Fakhrul, who later became the MD of state-run BASIC Bank in 2010, was also accused in separate cases filed in connection with misappropriation of around Tk 4,500 crore from the bank between 2010 and 2013.
He fled the country after the BASIC Bank scam surfaced.