The Bangladesh Bank has submitted reports to law enforcement agencies to take measures against financial irregularities involving Tk 4,000 crore.
The central bank disclosed the fresh financial irregularities in the banking sector at a briefing.
At the briefing, central bank governor Fazle Kabir announced the monetary policy statement for the first half of the fiscal year 2018-19. Banking reform adviser SK Sur Chowdhury, deputy governor Abu Hena Mohammad Razi Hasan, chief economist Faisal Ahmed, among others, were present.
Asked if the central bank was capable of tackling banking irregularities and preventing money laundering ahead of the national elections, Abu Hena Mohammad Razi Hasan said that Bangladeshi people’s money in Swiss banks had declined – both the individual deposits and total deposits.
‘The financial intelligence unit of the Bangladesh Bank has conducted inquiries and we have referred reports to the law enforcement agencies on irregularities involving Tk 4,000 crore based in the inquiries,’ he said, adding that the law enforcers were now investigating those cases for prosecution.
He said that they were monitoring the financial irregularities and money laundering and taking actions as per the law.
The banking sector has got mired in growing loan irregularities that resulted in bad loan following detection of series of loan scams and embezzlements, including Hallmark Group scam in Sonali Bank, shady loan of BASIC Bank, AnonTex and Bimsmillah Group’s loan scams in Janata Bank and fund embezzlement in Famers Bank Limited and NRB Commercial Bank.
Sonali Bank failed to recover a single penny of Tk 3,500 crore gulped by little known Hallmark Group in 2013.
BASIC Bank is facing severe capital shortfall due to shady loans of Tk 6,000 crore, given during the tenure of its previous board of directors led by its former chairman Sheikh Abdul Hye Bacchu, allegedly appointed on political consideration. Janata Bank is facing loan scam of over Tk 5,000 crore given to little known AnonTex Group.
Famers Bank, which faced a major shakeup in its board, repeatedly failed in past few months to honour cheque of depositors because of cash crunch.
Asked about the update on the recovery of money stolen from the central bank reserve, the deputy governor said, ‘$15 million out of $81 million have already been recovered.’
A process is underway for the recovery of the rest of the fund. Cases are running on the right direction in different courts which involves recovery of another $51 million, he said.
Fazle Kabir said that significant progress has been made in the recovery process and there is no doubt about the recovery of the entire fund.
About the bad loan recovery, Fazle Kabir said that the classified loans usually reduced by the end of year and they expected that this would happen this year as well.
About gold mismatch report of customs intelligence, he claimed that it was quite impossible to adulterate gold preserved in Bangladesh Bank vault because of huge security arrangement.
‘We have a six-tier security check-up with 42 CCTV cameras installed in the vault,’ said Fazle Kabir.
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