BASIC Bank board’s former chairman Sheikh Abdul Hye Bacchu on Wednesday told ACC’s interrogators that he had approved loans worth about Tk 4,500 crore being misled by the management of the bank.
He also claimed during interrogations by Anti-Corruption Commission’s sleuths that the loans he had approved were later misappropriated.
During the interrogations for the 2nd day at ACC’s Segunbaghicha head office when sleuths asked him to explain why did he approve the loans ignoring objections raised by BASIC Bank’s branches, Bacchu claimed that he signed the loan documents ‘in good faith.’
Later, an ACC director told New Age that Bacchu once again told his interrogators that he had approved the loans following requests from BASIC Bank’s the then managing director Fakhrul Islam.
The ACC director said, during Monday’s interrogations also Bacchu had passed the blame on the management of BASIC Bank, particularly on the former managing director Fakhrul, who is already accused in all the 56 cases the ACC filed over a series of massive defalcations.
Bacchu, however, offered to assist ACC officials in recovering the embezzled sums, said the director.
Fakhrul has, however, been absconding since the ACC filed a series of cases in 2015, he said.
On Wednesday, Bacchu was interrogated for four hours and a half by a squad of 10 ACC sleuths regarding 15 out of 56 defalcation cases filed by the anti-corruption watchdog.
Bacchu was interrogated in the presence of ACC director general M Asaduzzamn, said the director.
Probes into 11 of the cases were done by ACC deputy director Samsul Alam, said ACC officials.
The investigations into four other cases were done by ACC deputy assistant director Joynul Abedin, they said.
As the interrogations were progressing, they said, Bacchu asked his interrogators not to ask him ‘too many questions’ saying ‘too many questions could be embarrassing to me and you alike’.
Shortly afterwards Bacchu began to sweat profusely when his interrogators called ACC’s medical unit, said the officials.
Later, ACC’s doctor Jyotirmoy Chowdhury told New Age that Bacchu’s blood pressure shot up briefly during the interrogations as ‘he is a patient of hypertension.’
The episode led to a break for about 30 minutes, after which Bacchu
was interrogated in the presence of a medical assistant for 80 more minutes until 4.50 PM, said Dr Jyotirmoy.
The interrogations over for the day, Bacchu speedily left the ACC office pushing aside waiting reporters without replying to a single question.
ACC officials said that the 56 cases they filed in 2015 have more than 100 accused, mostly bankers, businessmen and private land surveyors for their alleged involvement with robbing the government owned bank of about Tk 2,000 crore between 2009 and 2014.
Lawyers, however, called it a mystery why the name of Bacchu, believed to be the main
perpetrator never appeared in any of the cases filed by the ACC.
They find it even more mysterious why the ACC filed no cases regarding TK 2,500 crore more that were embezzled from the BASIC Bank during the same period when Bacchu was chairman of the board of BASIC Bank.
Bangladesh Bank which detected swindling of Tk 4,500 crore from the BASIC Bank, between 2009 and 2014 when Bachhu was its chairman, was also amazed to find Bacchu’s name missing from the lists of accused.
On Wednesday, the ACC filed another case against three suspects including former deputy general manager of BASIC Bank’s Babubazar branch M Selim on the charge of embezzlement of around Tk 7.85 crore from the branch between March 2010 and October 2016.
The other accused include — M/s Esol Food and Beverage Ltd managing director M Saiful Islam and its chairman M Ataur Rahman.
ACC assistant director Mohammad Sirajul Haq filed the case with Bongshal police.
BASIC Bank, once a profit making public sector bank became almost bankrupt due to extending fictitious loans to non-exiting borrowers during Bacchu’s tenure as it chairman.
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