The chairman and two other board members of AB Bank Ltd resigned following the bank’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) yesterday amid claims of money laundering.
A source from inside the bank confirmed that the bank’s chairman M Wahidul Haque, vice chairman Salim Ahmed and director Faheemul Huq had all tendered their resignations.
The bank's managing director, Moshiur Rahman Chowdhury, said the resignation letters of the three were accepted at the AGM , and that MA Awal was named as the new chairman and Feroz Ahmed as the vice chairman of the bank.
Both were serving directors of the bank, while Feroz had also previously served the board as vice-chairman.
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Three new directors, Shirin Sheikh, Sajir Ahmed and Mostak Ahmed Chowdhury, have also been appointed.
Mostak Ahmed is representing the board on behalf of the bank’s sponsor, director Morshed Khan, while Shajir Ahmed is the son of the former vice chairman, Salim Ahmed.
Sources said the sweeping changes took place following allegations that Tk165 crore was laundered to the United Arab Emirates through two shady organizations in the name of investment.
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According to a Bangladesh Bank (BB) inspection report, M Wahidul Haque was directly involved in laundering the money along with M Fazlur Rahman and Shamim Ahmed Chaudhury - both former MDs of the bank - and the bank’s former head of financial institutions and treasury, Abu Hena Mustafa Kamal.
However, a source from the bank claimed that the changes in the top management and ownership of AB Bank are the consequence of the ongoing attempt by the Chittagong-based S Alam Group to increase its influence in the banking sector.
Besides the AB Bank, the business group has tightened its grip in two other banks this year. It took control over Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL) on January 5 and Social Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (SIBL) on October 30.
At least eight banks are currently under the grip of S Alam Group. The five other banks are First Security Islami Bank, Union Bank, Al-Arafah Islami Bank, Bangladesh Commerce Bank and NRB Global Bank.