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Tk 76cr Zaman Basic Tower scam

BFID orders action against perpetrators

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12th-Oct-2017       
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Staff Reporter :
The Bank and Financial Institutions Division (BFID) under the Ministry of Finance has asked the BASIC Bank authorities to take actions against the bank's former Chairman Abdul Hye Bachchu led members of board directors for the "Zaman Basic Tower scam".
BFID came up with the directive in a recent letter to the Bank's Managing Director.
A copy of the letter has also been forwarded to the central bank for its appraisal, officials said on Wednesday.
They said, the state-owned BASIC Bank has lost Tk 76 crore on account of the forgery in purchasing a building for the bank.
This scam has been revealed by a finance ministry investigation that also found the bank's controversial former Chairman, Abdul Hye Bachchu, involved.Seven years ago, BASIC Bank signed a deal with one Sinku Akramuzzaman for the purchase of 12 floors of a 14 floor proposed building (Zaman Basic Tower) opposite Bangladesh Bank and Sena Kalyan Sangshta for Tk 81 crore.
The bank paid Tk 76 crore in installments.
The bank paid Tk 40 crore to Sinku Akramuzzaman on April 1, 2010, on the very day of signing the deal. Then, in instalments, the bank paid him another Tk 36 crore, according to the investigation.
According to the rules, permission must be taken from the president (presently the prime minister) for the construction of a new building for a state-owned bank or financial institution, or for the extension, renovation and maintenance of an old building for the purpose.
It was alleged that Bachchu utterly influenced the bank's top management to sign the deal. Even, he managed the bank's board to sign the deal prior approval from the government.
 "Despite having paid Tk 76 crore, not a single floor has been handed over to the bank as yet and Akramuzzaman disappeared from the scene.
Sources said, Akramuzzaman has obtained permanent residency in Malaysia from looting the bank money and he fled there.
BFDI in the letter asked the bank authorities to initiate immediate steps to recover the bank's money through mediation. "If the mediation fails to make the expected outcome, the bank should file a compensation suit against him," it added.
It further said that the bank should also take legal steps against the then members of the board of directors obtaining legal advice from the banks legal advisers.
 "Actions should also be taken against the bank officials who were responsible for the deal," it said.
Admitting the matter, BFID senior secretary Yunusur Rahman told The New Nation yesterday that the bank authorities have been asked to take actions against the perpetrators of the "Zaman Basic Tower scam."        
 "We hope they will take necessary steps in this regard," he added.
On April 1 2010, BASIC Bank signed a deal with Sinku Akramuzzaman to purchase space of 51,500 square feet in Motijheel of the capital city.
This tripartite deal stated that BASIC Bank would give Tk 81 crore to Akramuzzaman and he would construct a 15-storey building, of which 12 floors would be given to BASIC Bank.
The building would be named Zaman BASIC Bank Tower.
The finance investigation finds that Akramuzzaman himself was two of the three parties involved in the deal. His company, Business Resources Limited, was constructing the building.
In 2013 a structure of the building was somehow completed.

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