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Taskforce: Investigate IBBL borrowers’ possible terror links

  • Published at 01:06 pm July 6th, 2017
Taskforce: Investigate IBBL borrowers’ possible terror links
The taskforce to strengthen action against militancy financing has asked officials of Bangladesh Bank, Islamic Foundation, and all intelligence agencies to look into the suspected links between pro-Jamaat borrowers of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL) and terrorism financing. The taskforce, in a directive sent to the government bodies last month, stated that 90% of loan receivers from IBBL were related to Jamaat's politics. It also asked authorities of the leading Islamic bank to submit statements of dividends provided to its non-profit depositors since the inception of the bank. Industries Minister and Chairman of the taskforce Amir Hossain Amu chaired the meeting. At the meeting, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said: “Bangladesh Bank must inform intelligence agencies as soon as they get any information about these illegal transactions. Based on the information, the intelligence agencies will carry out further investigation.” State Minister for Foreign Affairs Mohammed Shahriar Alam said that the director general of the Islamic Foundation, the charitable branch of IBBL, had failed to submit substantive reports on the expenditure of Islami Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds. He alleged that the director general had been funding the sectors that were trying to incite action against the government. Shahriar also urged that details about Islami Bank’s CSR funding be revealed soon. According to sources at the meeting, IBBL has so far disbursed Tk61,641 crore to 751,300 borrowers. Most of the borrowers had links to Jamaat-e-Islami which has been accused of funding terrorist activities and anti-government action across the country, sources said. Due to allegations of terror financing, Bangladesh Bank imposed special restrictions on IBBL, requiring the central bank’s clearance on any appointment at the level of executive deputy managing director. The government in recent months appointed four independent directors to the bank’s board of directors to extend the government's control on the bank. Islami Bank saw several major shifts in policy and operations since the abrupt resignation of its top three officials – the chairman, vice-chairman and managing director on January 5.