No headway in BASIC Bank probe

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The ACC is yet to make any headway in the investigation that began around five years ago to look into the suspected corruption in BASIC Bank.
The corruption watchdog said they could not make progress with the enquiry since they did not get central bank report.
Bangladesh Bank, however, said the report was taking long time to complete since the ‘extent of corruption is widespread’.
There were allegations that loans amounting to Tk 40 billion were disbursed from three branches of the state-owned bank-Dilkusha, Gulshan and Shantinagar-through irregularities.
Managing Director of the bank Kazi Fakhrul Islam was removed on May 25 at the intervention of the central bank. Before that, several other officers were sacked.
Allegations of money laundering were also leveled against BASIC Bank.
ACC launched an informal probe into the allegations in 2009 and formal investigation in 2010. Assistant Director of the anti-graft body is responsible for the probe.
ACC officials said the commission formed a four-member team, led by its Deputy Director Mir Jaynul Abedin Shibli, in 2011 after they traced ‘widespread corruption’ in the primary investigation.
A member of the team told on condition of anonymity that they got information on corruption of the three branches before newspapers broke the news.
“We were carrying out investigation and zeroed in on who, apart from the bank’s board of directors, are involved in the corruption,” he added.
The official said the probe committee was dissolved following the Hall-Mark-Sonali Bank corruption in 2012 and Shibli was made the head of the team to look into that.
Later, ACC Deputy Director Md Iqbal Hossain was given the responsibility to look into the BASIC Bank corruption.
When asked, Hossain said: “I haven’t received any instruction from the commission. Only the (ACC) authorities can give the latest information about it.”
ACC Chairman M Bodiuzzaman said they put the inquiry on hold as the central bank had been involved in the BASIC Bank affairs.
He said the commission would make a final decision on the matter after getting report of Bangladesh Bank.
The Bangladesh Bank says they are yet to finalise their probe report on the bank.
“We had received some partial reports on the irregularities and corruptions over the last 4 years in three branches of BASIC Bank. But you know the extent of corruption is widespread in this case. At this moment, we can’t say when the final report can be submitted,” said the central bank’s Executive Director Mahfujur Rahman.
Central bank spokesperson and Executive Director Md Mahfuzur Rahman they could not finalise the report.
“We’ve received some reports in bits and pieces on corruption in various sectors of the three branches of Basic Bank over the past four years. But you know the corruption is widespread in this case. So we cannot say at this moment when the final report will be submitted.”