The High Court on Tuesday asked the Bangladesh Bank to maintain a status quo over two of its show-cause notices served on managing director and board of directors of the scam-hit NRB Commercial Bank asking them to explain why punitive measures would not be taken against them for their alleged involvements in a number of financial scams.
The High Court bench of Justice Syed Muhammad Dastagir Husain and Justice Md Ataur Rahman Khan also asked the BB to explain why the show-cause notices of the central bank would not be declared illegal.
The court passed the order following a writ petition filed by the NRBC Bank challenging the show-cause notices.
The BB issued a show-cause notice on NRBC managing director Dewan Mujibur Rahman on March 20 asking him to explain in 10 days why BB would not remove him from the bank for ‘failing to ensure the proper management and interest of the depositors’.
In a separate but similar letter BB also asked the NRBC chairman Farasath Ali why the central bank would not take punitive action against the board of the bank for same offences.
The BB in the notices highlighted a number of scams including the unlawful influence exerted by the Mercantile Bank chairman Shahidul Ahsan in NRBC and sanctioning of Tk 301 crore loan against him violating banking rules and regulations.
New Age earlier on December 26, 2016 and January 31, 2017 ran two reports on the investigations of the central bank which unearthed the scams involving around Tk 701 crore.
BB highlighted the findings of the investigations in the show-cause notices served on the NRBC MD and board, said BB officials.
Central bank officials said that they were yet to get the reply from the NRBC top brasses.
BB deputy governor SK Sur Chowdhury told New Age on Wednesday that the central bank would take punitive measures against the MD and chairman of NRBC Bank if the BB did not find their reply satisfactory.
He, however, said that the central bank is yet to take any steps against Mercantile Bank chairman Shahidul Ahsan.
Bangladesh Bank appointed observer to NRB Commercial Bank on December 28, 2016 to protect the bank from the loan scandal.
The BB show-cause notices with 10 points highlighted the irregularities that took place in the newly-established bank.
NRBC Bank violated the single borrower exposure limit in sanctioning the loans in favour of Mercantile Bank board chairman Shahidul Ahsan’s business organisations as it approved 56 per cent credit limit amounting to Tk 301 crore against its capital of Tk 540.43 crore, the BB letters said.
Moreover, Ahsan attended the bank’s board meeting violating the central bank’s rules and regulations, the letters said.
The four directors of the bank — Kamrun Nahar Sakhi, ABM Abdul Mannan, Firoz Haider Khan and Md Amir Hossain — had been shown present in the board meetings by ‘forging signatures’.
Even, the signatures shown as the signatures of the directors in the papers of board and executive meetings did not match with their (four directors) signatures in the other bank documents and article of association, said the reports.
Such type of act is criminal offence and the MD and chairman of NRBC Bank have to take the responsibility in this regard, the letters said.
AKM Shafiqul Islam and Syed Golam Farouque were nominated as alternative directors of Sakhi and Mannan at the board of directors of the bank.
Shafiqul and Farouque are also directors and consultants of Ahsan Group owned by the Mercantile Bank chairman.
The BB letters said that the principal branch of the bank disbursed Tk 22.32 crore to Multiplan Development Ltd violating the rules and NRBC board member Syed Munsif Ali was one of the beneficiaries of the organisation.
The client faced an overdue situation on August 27, 2015, but the bank did not show the loan as defaulted one, the BB letters said.
The Dhanmondi branch of NRBC Bank disbursed to Messer’s Goldberg Tk 24 crore of which funded loan was Tk 17.78 crore and non-funded loan Tk 6.22 crore.
The client did not repay the loan to the bank after selling the imported products whereas NRBC Bank frequently opened fresh letters of credit against the client.
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