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24 May, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Basic bank loan scam

High Court summons IOs on May 30

Staff Reporter
High Court summons IOs on May 30

The High Court (HC) yesterday summoned the investigating officers of 56 BASIC Bank loan scam cases to appear before it on May 30 to explain their respective positions over the delay in completing the investigation of the cases. It also asked the investigating officers to bring all the relevant documents of the cases on that day.

The HC bench, comprising Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Shahidul Karim, came up with the order while hearing four petitions filed by a few accused persons, including Fazlur Sobhan, former managing director of Basic Bank, seeking bail in the cases.

According to Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) sources, the commission has so far filed 56 cases in connection with the Basic Bank loan scam. Around 10 investigating officers have been looking into these cases that involve 153 accused persons.  

ACC director Syed Iqbal Hossain led the investigators of the BASIC Bank scam cases.

As per Section 20A of the ACC law, the investigator has to complete  the investigation of a corruption case within 180 days.

However, despite a lapse of more than three years since the filing of the cases, the investigating officers are yet to  submit the charge-sheet in any of the cases, ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan said.

The ACC has failed to complete investigation of the loan scam cases in three years, in spite of repeated directives and observations from both the High Court Division and Appellate Division.

Both the divisions also asked the ACC to explain the reason of excluding the principal accused, Sheikh Abdul Hye Bacchu, former chairman of the bank, from the loan scam cases.

Bacchu was interrogated by the ACC on different occasions, but he is yet to be included in the list of accused.

During yesterday's proceedings, several detained accused sought bail from the HC. But the ACC opposed their bail petitions.

The HC bench asked the ACC lawyer, Khurshid Alam Khan, why the investigation of the loan scam cases could not be finished within the set time limit. In reply, Khan simply said: “I don’t know."

“If the HC grants bail for the accused persons, the Appellate Division will also uphold their bail,” he added.

Then, the HC summoned all the investigating officers of the cases  to appear before it to explain their respective positions.

Barrister Rokanuddin Mahmud and Advocate Abdul Matin Khasru appeared for the bail petitioners. According to a Bangladesh Bank (BB) enquiry, about Tk. 4,500 crore was siphoned out of the state-run bank between 2010 and 2013 when Sheikh Abdul Hye Bacchu chaired its board.

On July 14, 2014, the central bank sent a report on the scam to the ACC, detailing how people embezzled money from the bank through shell companies and dubious accounts. The BB found that Bacchu illegally influenced all the activities of the bank, leaving the once-sound institution in a moribund state.

In 2015, the ACC filed 56 cases against 153 persons for the scam. However, Bacchu was not made accused in any of the cases.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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