The depositors just want the principal amount back, forfeiting claims on interest on the sum
The depositors of People’s Leasing and Financial Services, which is going through liquidation, on Monday demanded their money back within 15 days as many of them are going through unbearable hardship.
About 6,000 individuals are leading miserable lives due to the failure of the central bank to prevent the laundering of funds by PK Halder, said Mohammad Atiqur Rahman Atiq, convenor and chief coordinator of PLFS individual and small depositors’ council.
One depositor of the non-bank financial institution has died of heart attack as a result of the stress brought on by the uncertainty about getting his money back from PLFS.
“If our money is not returned in 15 days, we woullay siege to the central bank,” Atiq said during a demonstration in front of the PLFS headquarters at Motijheel in the capital. The depositors went on to seek the prime minister’s intervention in getting back their deposits from PLFS.
At the end of September 2018, PLFS’s deposits stood at Tk 2,086crore.
When marginal people seek loans from banks, it becomes quite impossible for them to fulfil the conditions set by the central bank, Atiq said.
He went on to question how Halder managed to siphon off more than Tk 10,000 crore from Bangladesh and from under the nose of the concerned central bank officials.
In July 2019, the government allowed the liquidation of the PLFS following the entity’s failure to repay depositors’ money on time.
Halder is wanted in a corruption case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission in January on charges of money laundering and amassing wealth amounting to Tk 274.91 crore beyond his known sources of income.
At the programme, Atiq also demanded that Halder be brought to trial.
Alleging that the Bangladesh Bank was slow in returning the depositors’ money, Atiq said that the central bank had been favouring the plunderers.
Investor Rayhan Kobir alleged that the BB officials concerned should be brought to book as well as the laundering of money from the financial system would not have been possible without their involvement.
“We now urge the central bank to pay back only the principal -- we do not want the interest.”
Many of the people had kept their life savings in PLFS for their old age.
“They have lost everything they had due to the liquidation,” Kabir added.
Ekushey Padak awardees Mustafa Zaman Abbasi and Ferdausi Rahman are going through much hardship for keeping their money in PLFS, said Samia Binte Mahbub, the association’s joint-convener.
After the programme, the depositors marched towards the central bank headquarters to submit a memo to BB Governor Fazle Kabir.