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Dhaka Tribune

Bismillah Group Scam: Sons of two AL MPs ignore ACC notices

Update : 20 Aug 2013, 06:38 PM

Sons of two Awami League lawmakers, allegedly involved with the Tk11.1bn embezzlement from five banks by the Bismillah Towels Group, have ignored the Anti-Corruption Commission notice which asked them to appear before the commission on Monday for interrogation.

A commission official said the commission on August 13 served notices to Jamil Hossain Durjoy, son of Gazipur 3 MP Rahmat Ali and Mohammad Ali, son of Comilla 1 MP Mohammad Shubid Ali Bhuiyan, to appear before the commission for interrogation on August 19, but they did not appear.

“There are allegations that these two persons, who were the non-paid directors of Bismillah Group, helped Bismillah Group high officials to do the misdeed and help them flee the country,” a commission official told the Dhaka Tribune, Tuesday.

“We served them notices since quizzing them might shed some light on the embezzlement, but they did not appear for the interrogation, even when asked several times,” the official added.

Bismillah Group allegedly embezzled around Tk3.93bn from Janata Bank, Tk3.06bn from Prime Bank, Tk1.64bn from Jamuna Bank, Tk1.49bn from Shahjalal Islami Bank and Tk629.7m from Premier Bank.

An ACC inquiry committee has already reviewed the documents of all five banks and completed quizzing around 70 officials who were allegedly involved with the swindling. The team is currently working to complete the probe report.

The preliminary inquiry found that Bismillah Group Managing Director Khaza Solaiman Anwar Chowdhury, his wife and Chairman of the group Nowrin Hasib, Solaiman’s father and the group’s Director Shafiqul Anwar Chowdhury and his mother Sarwar Jahan are currently in Dubai. Senior Manager Abul Hossain Chowdhury is in Malaysia and another top official Riaz Uddin is in London.

The commission is likely to file a case against the accused under the money laundering prevention act as soon as the probe report is submitted before the commission.

A Bangladesh Bank inspection last year first spotted Bismillah Towels Ltd, Hindul Wali Textile Ltd, and Alpha Composite Towels Ltd, all concerns of the Bismillah Group, defrauding the banks of billions from 2010 to 2012.

Irregularities included securing cash incentives against fake export documents, taking advantage of inland bills purchases and overpricing non-existing export items.

On February 26, ACC formed a five-strong probe body headed by its deputy director Syed Iqbal Hossain. The other members of the committee are assistant directors Toufiqul Islam and M Gulshan Anwar, and deputy assistant directors Sarder Manzur Ahmed and M Al Amin.  

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