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Farmers Bank loan scam

ACC launches probe, travel ban on Chisty

By Special Correspondent
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The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has launched a probe into allegations of corruption brought against Farmers Bank's founding chairman Dr Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir and its former Audit Committee chairman Md Mahabubul Haque Chisty-both of whom were stepped down from their posts on November 27 in line with a Bangladesh Bank directive.
On Wednesday, an ACC team comprising its deputy director Shamsul Alam and deputy assistant director Zainul Abedin went to the bank's headquarters in Dhaka as part of its investigation.
They held a closed door meeting with the bank's Managing Director (MD) Ehsan Khasru to gather first hand information relating to the bank's loan scams, mismanagement and other irregularities during the tenure of Dr Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir and Md Mahabubul Haque Chisty.
The meeting lasted for more than two hours where the ACC team asked the bank's chief executive to produce some papers and documents to them.
"A lot of allegations have been raised against both of them. They allegedly resorted to various corrupt practices at various levels from loan sanctioning to bank management that have already hit media headlines. The ACC has started investigation into these allegations revelved by the media," an ACC official told The New Nation yesterday on condition of anonymity.
On top of this, the ACC also collected the central bank's investigation reports on the bank's loan scandals and other anomalies.
Between September and November in 2015, the Bangladesh Bank (BB) conducted special inspections at three branches of the Farmers Bank in the city's Gulshan, Motijheel and Shyampur, and found gross violations of the banking rules in sanctioning and disbursing loans of around Tk 400 crore.
The amount was sanctioned to various business entities, many of them associated with bank insiders, without proper security or collateral, putting the depositors at risk.
BB probe found that the bank's former chairman Dr Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, Executive Committee Chairman Mahabubul Haque Chisty, Managing Director Choudhury Moshtaq Ahmed, Additional Managing Director AKM Shameem and six other officials were responsible for the loan anomalies.
"We've sought relevant and necessary documents to complete the investigation," said the ACC official, adding, "Notice will be issued summoning Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir and Chisty after receiving some necessary documents from the bank."
He added, "If they are found involved in the corruption, the law will take its own course."
The ACC also wrote the immigration department to place the bank's former Audit Committee chairman Md Mahabubul Haque Chisty on the no- fly list at airports. It sought travel ban on Chisty for ensuring his appearance before the anti-graft body for questioning.

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