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HC orders ACC to complete probe in 3 months

Basic Bank loan scam

30 November 2022


Staff Reporter :
The High Court on Tuesday ordered the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to complete the investigation of all the 56 cases filed in connection with the Basic Bank scam within three months and to submit a report with it. Otherwise, appropriate legal action will be taken against the anti-graft body, warned the HC.
The High Court bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Khizir Hayat passed the direction while delivering a verdict on three bail petitions filed by accused Mohammad Ali, former manager of Basic Bank's Shantinagar branch, in three cases filed in connection with the scam.
The court also discharged the rulings issued relating to the bail of Mohammad Ali.
Lawyer Abul Hossain appeared in the court hearing on behalf of the accused, while lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan appeared for the ACC, and Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin Manik represented the state.
Later Mr Amin Uddin said, "The court asked the ACC to complete the probe in three months without fail. It also asked the ACC to submit a report to the court through Supreme Court Registrar."
The court said that if the investigation is not completed on time, many evidences in the cases are destroyed.
The HC said, "The investigation report was supposed to be submitted within 180 days. But the Anti-Corruption Commission has failed to submit the report by this time. Loan defaulters cannot be chief executive of the companies abroad. They don't even get the benefits that ordinary citizens get." More than seven years have already passed, but the Anti-Corruption Commission is yet to submit charge sheets (to the lower court) in the cases filed for Basic Bank loan scams. As a result the trial couldn't be finished in the cases.
The ACC in a recent report said that the cases filed in connection with the scam are under investigation for a long time. One of the reasons for the delay in the investigation process of the cases is that the location of the embezzled money in the cases was concealed by withdrawing money entirely in cash.
"Due to the same, identification of the key witnesses in the cases and taking their statements have become difficult. Not all witnesses are responding as expectation. There are a lot of evidences in the cases and it is time-consuming to identify all the actual evidences from the huge amount of bank documents. Besides, the process of identifying the real accused is also very complicated in these cases," also read the report.
According to a Bangladesh Bank enquiry, around Tk 45.0 billion was siphoned off  Basic Bank between 2009 and 2013 when Sheikh Abdul Hye Bacchu chaired the board of the bank.
A total of 56 cases were filed in connection with the Basic Bank scams. But the ACC could not submit any charge sheet in any of the cases in last seven years.  Mohammad Ali was made accused in 12 cases and he has been in jail since September 6 in 2019, said his lawyer Abul Hossain.
Three cases in which Mohammad Ali sought bail from the HC were filed on charge of embezzling Tk 700 million, 300 million and 780 million respectively with the Ramna Police Station. 

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