Former BASIC Bank chairman Sheikh Abdul Hye Bacchu on Monday shifted blame onto its former managing director Fakhrul Islam for the embezzlement of money from the state-owned commercial bank.
In interrogation by a 10-member team of the Anti-Corruption Commission at its headquarters office over the BASIC Bank scam, Bacchu claimed that he came to know about the embezzlement of about Tk 3,500 crore at the last stage of his tenure, a director of the commission told New Age.
During the interrogation, Bacchu also offered to assist the commission officials to recover the embezzled money and he would submit a written statement to the commission in this regard if the commission needed, the official said.
As an investigator asked Bacchu how the management approved the loans without his consent, he replied that he and other members of the board just followed the report placed by the management, especially the managing director.
According to the official, as the investigator mentioned Fakhrul’s statement that he carried out the orders of the board chairman, Bacchu said, ‘He [Fakhrul] has the freedom of speech and he can say whatever he wants.’
As another investigator mentioned that former members of the board claimed that they were forced by Bacchu to approve the loans, Bacchu replied than why none of them gave any note of dissent if they had any different opinion, the director said.
Asked about the wealth of Bacchu, he said that he was a businessman and from a reach family, the official said.
About his frequent foreign tours, Bacchu said that he made the tours for treatment of his physically challenged son.
Emerging from the interrogation, Bacchu told reporters that the allegations against him were not yet established and he would help the commission to complete the investigation.
‘The investigation is going on and I have given
my statement to the investigators, so this is not a perfect time to make
more comments over the matter,’ he told waiting reporters.
Commission chairman Iqbal Mahmood told reporters that the next decision on Bacchu would be made after the submission of the report by the investigators.
Earlier in November, the commission interrogated 10 former directors of BASIC Bank.
In 2015, the commission filed 56 cases against over 100 people including bankers, business people and surveyors for their alleged involvement in the swindling out of about Tk 2,000 crore from the bank.
According to a Bangladesh Bank inquiry, about Tk 4,500 crore was swindled out from Basic Bank between 2009 and 2014 when Bachhu was its chairman. Bacchu, was, however, not named in the cases.
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