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Crippling Corruption by Awami League regime

Discussion in 'Bangladesh Defence Forum' started by idune, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. idune

    idune ELITE MEMBER

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    APPOINTMENT OF DIRECTORS TO STATE-OWNED BANKS

    Political consideration dominates selection

    Shakhawat Hossain

    ‘Political considerations’ have again dominated the criteria for appointment to the boards of directors of the beleaguered state-owned commercial and specialised banks.

    Two former Bangladesh Bank executives told New Age on Friday that the banking division could not set a precedent by selecting directors for the state-owned banks ‘ignoring the political pressure’. They pointed out that competent persons were not made directors to lead the banks under public scrutiny after the loan scam in the Sonali Bank Limited in the outgoing year.They came up with the views a day after 31 directors were appointed to Sonali Bank Limited, Janata Bank Limited, Agrani Bank, Bangladesh Small Industries and Commerce Bank Limited, Bangladesh Development Bank, Bangladesh Krishi Bank and Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank.

    Political activists, teachers, engineers, physicians, former bureaucrats having links with the ruling party, allegedly got priority in the selection process.
    ‘Except a few, most of the directors have no experience in banking,’ said former BB governor Saleh Uddin Ahmed.
    He said that the few competent people would not be able to contribute much to the board that would be dominated by inexperienced persons.
    Noting that the performance of the boards of directors depends on team work, he said the present government has disappointed all by the selection which was crucial following a series of scams in the last two years left the state-owned banks almost paralysed.
    Finance ministry officials said more directors would be appointed in the coming weeks as part of the government’s move to revamp the boards of directors of the banks.
    Restructuring of the boards of directors has long been due in the wake of the biggest loan scam in Sonali Bank. The role of directors were criticised severely after little-known Hallmark Group laundered Tk 3,600 crore from a branch of the
    country’s largest bank.
    Mushid Kuli Khan, the immediate past deputy governor of the BB, observed that it was up to the government whom it would give appointment as the directors.
    ‘But given the critical situation in the state-owned banks, the government should have been a little more cautious in selection,’ he said.

    Balaram Poddar, former youth leader of the ruling party, was made a director of the Agrani Bank Limited. He had served as a Janata Bank director before his three-year tenure expired last September.

    Nagibul Islam Dipu and Ramani Mohan Debnath, widely known as pro-government columnists, also found places in the same bank’s board of directors.

    Mahbub Hossain, Saheb Ali Mridha and Kazi Taqibul Islam, all former bureaucrats, were made directors of the Sonali Bank.

    Shekhar Dutta, a ruling party organiser, and Selima Ahmad, vice-chairman of Nitol-Niloy Group of Industries, were also made directors of the same bank.

    Transparency International Bangladesh executive director Iftekharuzzaman noted that everybody expected that the government would select professionals having good experience in banking to amend previous mistakes. ‘But it failed to do so because of its lack of commitment,’ he said.


    New Age | Newspaper
     
  2. idune

    idune ELITE MEMBER

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    4 YEARS OF GOVT
    Govt, ACC in question over big scams

    Ahammad Foyez

    Big scams involving Padma Bridge project, railway, Hallmark and Destiny spotted in 2012 have questioned the transparency and credibility of the Awami League government.What is more alarming is that some ministers and high government officials were found involved in at least three such scams although the Anti-Corruption Commission inquiries failed to catch big shots.

    The Anti-Corruption Commission’s seemingly compromising stand on arresting ministers or advisers and ordinary people who are suspects in the cases have questioned the sincerity of the commission in curbing corruption. The commission has, rather, brushed aside all criticisms about its bias and transparency.

    In the case of the Padma Bridge project corruption, the commission interrogated former communications minister Syed Abul Hossain three times in connection with his suspected involvement in the scam. The commission finally lodged a case on December 17, excluding Syed Abul and former state minister for foreign affairs Abul Hasan Chowdhury, another suspect.

    The commission said that Abul Hossain and Abul Hasan were still on the list of suspects.Its inquiry team said that Abul Hossain and former Bridge Division secretary Mosharraf Hossain, now an officer on special duty and arrested, had attended a meeting with Mohammad Mostafa, deputy managing director of Engineering and Planning Consultants Ltd, a local sub-agent of Canada-based SNC-Lavalin, and the then officials of SNC-Lavalin Ramesh Shah and Kevin Wallace on May 29, 2011 in Dhaka.

    After the meeting, the Bangladesh Bridge Authority on June 19, 2011 made recommendations to give the work to SNC-Lavailn before completing the evaluation work. The inquiry team said that Abul Hossain had met some representatives of SNC-Lavalin and other companies in various stages of the tender process. ‘SNC-Lavalin officials met Abul Hossain with the help of Abul Hasan,’ an inquiry team member said.

    The inquiry team said that Abul Hossain, Abul Hasan and others were named in a diary of Ramesh.The commission on December 25, 2012, arrested Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and superintendent engineer of the Bangladesh Bridge Authority Kazi Mohammad Ferdous in connection with ‘corruption conspiracy’ in Padma Bridge project.

    On June 29, the World Bank cancelled its credit for the construction of the Padma Bridge after it had found ‘credible evidence’ of corruption by high-level government functionaries in awarding SNC-Lavalin the contract for the project’s supervision.

    In the railway scam, the commission started an inquiry on April 9, 2012. Ali Azam, driver of Omar Faruq Talukder, assistant private secretary to the then railway minister Suranjit Sengupta, drove a microbus carrying Faruq and railway officials Yusuf Ali Mridha and Enamul Huq straight into the Border Guard Bangladesh headquarters in the capital and shouted at the guards saying that there was illegal money in the vehicle.

    The money was reportedly headed for Suranjit’s house but the commission filed to find his involvement in the scam.

    The commission, meanwhile, after an inquiry gave Suranjit a clean chit although it did not even interrogate him. The commission later started investigating personal wealth of some people and corruption in the railway. The commission filed three cases against Faruq, Mridha and Enamul for their illegal wealth and six cases against three railway officials, including Yusuf Ali Mridha, for alleged corruption in railway recruitment.Azam made a sudden appearance on October 4 claiming in a television interview that the microbus he was driving with Tk 74 lakh was headed for Suranjit’s house at Jhigatola in the capital.

    In the Hallmark-Sonali Bank scam, the commission also failed to find the involvement the prime minister’s health affairs adviser Syed Modasser Ali. A parliamentary investigation committee on November 7 found frequent visits to the Sonali Bank branch at the Ruposhi Bangla Hotel by Modasser to be ‘quite unusual.’

    It is quite unusual and unbecoming of an adviser holding the rank of a cabinet minister to have visited a bank branch, committee members said. The committee summoned Modasser to a hearing at the national assembly complex. The commission on October 4 filed 11 cases against seven officials of the Hallmark Group, including Hallmark managing director Tanvir Mahmud, and 20 officials, including Sonali Bank’s former managing director Humayun Kabir.

    In the Destiny scam, the commission on July 30 filed two cases against 22 senior executives of the Destiny 2000, including its president M Harun-ur-Rashid, also a former army chief, and managing director Mohammad Rafiqul Amin for allegedly laundering about Tk 3,285 crore.Commission officials found that only Tk 56 lakh was left in the accounts of Destiny Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited after its officials illegally had withdrawn the large amount of money.

    The commission also found that the accused had left with only Tk 4.87 crore in the accounts of Destiny Tree Plantation Limited.According to the commission findings, 11 top officials of Destiny 2000 illegally misappropriated money from the bank accounts. The findings revealed that Harun-ur-Rashid had drawn Tk 1397.96 lakh, Rafiqul Amin and his wife Farah Deeba jointly Tk 7327.33 lakh and directors Mohammad Hossain Tk 189.84 lakh, Md Gofranul Haque Tk 8304.6 lakh, Mohammad Saidur Rahman Tk 16744.35 lakh, Mohammad Mezbah Uddin Tk 7420.93 lakh, Tayebur Rahman and Salina Rahman Tk 3077.26 lakh, Syed Sajjad Hossain Tk 1613.06 lakh, Irfan Ahmed Sani Tk 70.673 lakh, Jomshed Ara Chowdhury Tk 1821.31 lakh, Nepal Chandra Biswas and Mitu Rani Biswas Tk 3368.403 lakh.

    After the cases were filed, the commission had arrested some big shots of Destiny, including M Harun-ur-Rashid and Mohammad Rafiqul Amin. The commission is yet complete the investigation.

    The Awami League before the 2008 general elections promised an ‘effective action against corruption’ saying that ‘multi-pronged measures to fight corruption will be put in place. Powerful people will have to submit wealth statement annually. Strict measures will be taken to eliminate bribe, extortion, rent seeking and corruption.’ The Awami League also promised measures against people having unearned and undisclosed money, against loan defaulters, tender manipulators, and users of muscle power in every stage of the state and society. All the promises belied the ground reality.

    New Age | Newspaper
     
  3. idune

    idune ELITE MEMBER

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    Hiring of tanker for carrying BPC oil
    BSC shows interest in unsolicited bid

    Published : Monday, 21 January 2013

    M Azizur Rahman

    The state-owned Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC) is examining the possibility of hiring a mother tanker on the basis of an unsolicited offer from MJL Bangladesh, bypassing the bidding process, sources said.

    The BSC management in the middle part of last year held a meeting with the MJL top officials and discussed ways and means to accept the offer for transportation of imported crude oil for the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) by the MJL-owned mother tanker -- M.T. Omera Queen -- from two Arabian Gulf countries.

    The MJL proposed BSC to sign a 7-year contract to carry crude oil for the BPC at an average freight rate of tankers chartered by the BSC/BPC between 2010 and 2011.

    The MJL allegedly is now trying to rope in both BSC and the BPC to carry through its unsolicited proposal in the name of 'joint business cooperation'.

    Relevant high BSC officials at the joint meeting pointed out the need for following the PPR provisions even in the case of joint business cooperation. Yet the managing director of the BSC was in favour of examining the possibility of 'accommodating' the MJL proposal.

    Sources said both BSC and BPC being two public sector entities are bound by the PPA and PPR in the matters of procuring all goods and services through competitive bidding. So, awarding any contract on the basis of an unsolicited offer under any pretext or under another name will be done in violation of both PPA and PPR, they said.

    By inviting the MJL to discuss the unsolicited offer, the BSC management has violated the procurement policy of the government.

    It may also be mentioned here that the BPC had incurred an estimated loss of Tk 60 million in 2011 by chartering the same Omera Queen of MJL. The MJL turned out to be lowest bidder and got the BSC contract for carrying oil for Bangladesh from Jeben Dhanna port of the UAE. But the contract had to be scrapped for the port authorities had blacklisted the ship. The BSC had to hurriedly hire another ship through international bidding at much higher freight rate.

    As per the practice being followed by the BSC since August 1982, the corporation invites international tender every month for chartering a tanker to carry crude oil from the Arabian Gulf to Chittagong.

    The bidding process is done through the inter-ministerial tender evaluation committee, which is administered by the BSC.

    The tender is circulated to the enlisted brokers of the inter-ministerial tender evaluation committee and the bidding is open to any local and international tanker owners or operators.

    Once the bidder is selected, the BSC signs an agreement with the tanker owner.

    The BSC levies 5.0 per cent service charge on the BPC and also 2.5 per cent commission on the ship owners.

    The BPC currently imports around 1.4 million tonnes of crude oil every year under state-to-state deal from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It is refined at the state-owned Eastern Refinery Ltd in Chittagong.

    Usually seven cargoes of 100,000 tonnes each are shipped from Ras Tanura in Saudi Arabia and another seven cargoes of the same capacity are shipped from Jeben Dhanna in the UAE.

    The Saudi Aramco of Saudi Arabia and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) are the suppliers of crude oil.

    The crude oil is imported on the FOB (free on board) basis and thus the responsibility to transport the cargoes belongs to the BPC.

    Since the BPC is not a shipping company and has no experience in chartering tankers to transport crude oil, the corporation entrusted the BSC with the responsibility of chartering tankers as per a decision taken in the inter-ministerial meeting in 1976.

    When contacted, BSC Managing Director Commodore Moqsumul Quader admitted to having discussions with the MJL Bangladesh Ltd over hiring the latter's mother tanker. He, however, said that the MJL was not yet awarded the deal.

    Financial Express :: Financial Newspaper of Bangladesh
     
  4. idune

    idune ELITE MEMBER

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    1500 crore taka looted by Awami League MPs
    Awami League MP looted around 1500 crore taka by widrawing money for local development project with little or no work done in the projects. Awami League coalition partner has already complained about Awami League looting and name few MP came in TIB corruption report.

    Report in Bangla:

    আমব্রেলা প্রকল্পের দেড় হাজার কোটি টাকা হাতিয়েছেন মহাজোটের এমপিরা

    ঢাকা: স্থানীয় সরকার, পল্লী উন্নয়ন ও সমবায় মন্ত্রণালয়ের (এলজিইডি) চার হাজার ৬০০ কোটি টাকার আমব্রেলা প্রকল্পের প্রায় দেড় হাজার কোটি টাকার কাজ না করে আত্মসাৎ করেছেন মহাজোটের এমপিরা। এ ঘটনায় মহাজোটের প্রধান শরিক দল জাতীয় পার্টির (এরশাদ) এমপিরা প্রধানমন্ত্রীসহ দলীয় প্রধানের কাছে লিখিত অভিযোগ করেছেন।

    এই প্রকল্পের কাজে দুর্নীতির অভিযোগে ইতিমধ্যে এক এমপির বিরুদ্ধে দুর্নীতি দমন কমিশন মামলা করেছে। আর, এমপিদের নিয়ে সম্প্রতি প্রকাশিত টিআইবির প্রতিবেদনে কারও কারও নাম এসেছে।

    নির্বাচনী এলাকার জনগণকে দেওয়া প্রতিশ্রুতিগুলোর মধ্যে গ্রামীণ অবকাঠামোর কাঙ্ক্ষিত উন্নয়ন না হওয়ায় ইতিমধ্যে শতাধিক এমপির বিরুদ্ধে স্থানীয় সরকার মন্ত্রণালয় বরাবর লিখিত অভিযোগ করেছেন এলাকার জনগণ।

    স্থানীয় সরকার মন্ত্রণালয় সূত্রে জানা গেছে, মহাজোট সরকার ক্ষমতায় আসার পর এমপিদের নিজ নিজ নির্বাচনী প্রতিশ্রুতি পূরণে অগ্রাধিকারমূলক গ্রামীণ অবকাঠামো উন্নয়নের জন্য থোক বরাদ্দ থেকে ১৫ কোটি টাকা প্রকল্পের অনুমোদন দেয়া হয়। প্রকল্পগুলো হলো: কাঁচা রাস্তা মেরামত, সড়ক ও হাটবাজার পাকাকরণ।

    এ প্রকল্পের আওতায় সংরক্ষিত মহিলা আসন ছাড়া নির্বাচিত ২৮৭ জন এমপির নিজ নিজ এলাকার উন্নয়নমূলক কাজের জন্য প্রথম দফায় ৯০০ কোটি টাকা বরাদ্দ দেয়া হয়। পরে গত জুনে সংসদে ২০১১-১২ অর্থবছরের জাতীয় বাজেট প্রস্তাব উত্থাপিত হওয়ার পর এমপিরা বাজেটের ওপর সাধারণ আলোচনায় অংশ নিয়ে এ বিষয়ে অর্থমন্ত্রী ও প্রধানমন্ত্রীর দৃষ্টি আকর্ষণ করেন। এরপর সরকারদলীয় বেশির ভাগ এমপির নামে ১৫ কোটি টাকা করে বরাদ্দ দেয়া হয়।

    এলাকার জনগণ ও বিভিন্ন মহল থেকে অভিযোগ উঠেছে, মহাজোটের অনেক এমপি এই বরাদ্দের টাকা পেয়ে এলজিইডির কর্মকর্তাদের যোগসাজশে ভুয়া প্রকল্পে দেখিয়ে ৯ থেকে ১০ কোটি টাকা হাতিয়ে নিয়েছেন। অভিযোগে বলা হয়েছে, স্থানীয় সরকার, পল্লী উন্নয়ন ও সমবায় মন্ত্রণালয়ের আমব্রেলা প্রকল্পের অনেক ক্ষেত্রে ঠিকাদারি প্রতিষ্ঠান কাজ না করে সরকারি অর্থ তুলে নিয়েছে।

    যেসব এমপির বিরুদ্ধে অভিযোগ উঠেছে, তাদের মধ্যে কুড়িগ্রাম-১ আসনের এ কে এম মোস্তাফিজার রহমান তার বরাদ্দের ১৫ কোটি টাকার মধ্যে চার থেকে পাঁচ কোটি টাকার কাজ করেছেন; বাকি টাকা ভুয়া প্রকল্পে দেখিয়ে তুলে নিয়েছেন। কুড়িগ্রাম-৪ আসনের জাকির হোসেন তিন-চার কোটি টাকার কাজ করে বরাদ্দের পুরো টাকা এলজিইডির কর্মকর্তাদের যোগসাজশে ভাগবাটোয়ারা করে নিয়েছেন। এমপিদের নিয়ে টিআইবির সাম্প্রতিক প্রতিবেদনেও এ বিষয়টি এসেছে।

    এ বিষয়ে কথা হলে চিলমারী উপজেলার চেয়ারম্যান শওকত আলী বলেন, ‘জাকির এমপি কোনো কাজ না করে সব টাকা তুলে নিছেন। এমপি যেসব প্রকল্প দেখিয়েছেন, তার কোনো কাজ করা হয়নি।’ তিনি এ বিষয়ে প্রধানমন্ত্রী বরাবরও অভিযোগ করেছেন বলে জানা গেছে।

    নাম প্রকাশ না করার শর্তে এলজিইডির এক কর্মকর্তা নতুন বার্তা ডটকমকে বলেন, ‘এ প্রকল্পের বরাদ্দ পেয়ে এমপিরা মনে করেন এটা নির্বাচনী ব্যয়ের জন্য সরকার দিয়েছে। সে জন্য তারা কাজ না করে ভুয়া প্রকল্প দেখিয়ে টাকা তুলে নিচ্ছেন।’ তিনি আরও জানান, এ প্রকল্পে এমপিরা যে দুর্নীতি করেছেন, তার পরিমাণ প্রায় দেড় হাজার কোটি টাকা।

    নীলফামারী-১ আসনের জাফর ইকবাল সিদ্দিকি আমব্রেলা প্রকল্পের প্রায় ৭ কোটি টাকার কাজ করেছেন, আর বাকি টাকা তিনি তুরে নিযেছেন বলে স্থানীয় জনগণ জাতীয় পার্টির চেয়ারম্যান এইচ এম এরশাদের কাছে অভিযোগ করেছেন। নীলফামারী-৩ আসনের কাজী ফারুক কাদের, গাইবান্ধা-১ আসনের আব্দুল কাদের খানের বিরুদ্ধে ইতিমধ্যে দুর্নীতি দমন কমিশন মামলা করেছে।

    গাইবান্ধা-২ আসনের মাহবুব আরা গিনি, চাঁপাইনবাগঞ্জ-৩ আসনের মোঃ আব্দুল ওদুদসহ অর্ধশতাধিক এমপি এ প্রকল্পের টাকা তুলে নিয়েছেন বলে জানা গেছে।

    জয়পুরহাট-১ আসনের বিএনপিদলীয় সাংসদ মোজাহার আলী প্রধান অভিযোগ করে বলেন, বিরোধী দলের এমপিদের অনেক এলাকায় আওয়ামী লীগের প্রভাবশালী নেতারা ডিও লেটার দিয়ে থোক বরাদ্দের টাকা তুলছেন।

    নাটোর-১ আসনের আবু তালহা নতুন বার্তা ডটকমকে বলেন, ‘এলাকার উন্নয়নমূলক কাজ করতে হলে সরকারি দলের নেতাকমীদের ভাগ দিতে হয়। এ জন্য আমি আগেই তাদের কাজ দিয়ে আমার দায়িত্ব পার করেছি।’ তিনি আরো বলেন, ‘আগে এক কিলোমিটার রাস্তা পাকা করতে লাগত ২৫ লাখ টাকা, আর এখন লাগে ৫০ লাখ টাকা। সরকারের বরাদ্দকৃত ১৫ কোটি টাকার মধ্যে আমার আর অল্প কিছু টাকা রয়েছে।’

    বগুড়া-৫ আসনের এমপি হাবিবুর রহমান এ প্রকল্পের কাজ না করে প্রায় ১ কোটি টাকা তুলে নিয়েছেন বলে তার বিরুদ্ধে এলাকার সরকারদলীয় নেতাকর্মীরা প্রধানমন্ত্রীর কাছে লিখিত অভিযোগ করেছেন।

    এ বিষযে স্থানীয় সরকার, পল্লী উন্নয়ন ও সমবায় মন্ত্রণালয়ের সচিব আবু আলম শহীদ খান কিছু অভিযোগ পেয়েছেন বলে স্বীকার করেন।

    প্রকল্পের পরিচালক (পিডি) ওয়াদুদ হোসেন নতুন বার্তা ডটকমকে জানান, আমব্রেলা প্রকল্পের জন্য চার হাজার ৬০০ কোটি টাকার বরাদ্দ ছিল। এর মধ্যে মাত্র ১২০০ কোটি টাকা বাকি ছিল; তাও এমপিদের প্রকল্পের বিপরীতে দেওয়া হয়েছে। তিনি আরও জানান, এ প্রকল্পের কাজ অনেক ভালো হয়েছে। প্রকল্পের কাজ ৩১ ডিসেম্বরের মধ্যে শেষ দেখানো হয়েছে, তবে এর কাজ জুনের মধ্যে শেষ হবে।

    ???????? ????????? ??? ????? ???? ???? ????????? ???????? ?????? | national | natunbarta.com
     
  5. idune

    idune ELITE MEMBER

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    Awami League is releasing corrupt officials of padma bridge looting in the middle of opposition movement.
    -----------------------------------------

    Padma Bridge graft: Ex-Secy gets bail

    Published : Wednesday, 06 February 2013

    A court in the city Tuesday granted bail to Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiya, former secretary of Bridge division and Kazi Mohammad Ferdous, superintendent of Bangladesh Bridge Authority, in connection with Padma bridge graft case. Senior Special Judge Mohammad Zahurul Haque passed the order after hearing a petition submitted by the defence lawyers, seeking bail in the case. — UNB

    Financial Express :: Financial Newspaper of Bangladesh
     
  6. idune

    idune ELITE MEMBER

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    After World bank cancellation of the loan because of Awami League corruption, Sheikh Hasina instead of dedicating founding stone dedicating memorial sculpture in memory of Padma bridge.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. idune

    idune ELITE MEMBER

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  8. idune

    idune ELITE MEMBER

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    Awami League finance minister to a letter to IMF president admitted wholesale corruption and looting from Bangladesh financial sector. But in public Awami League has been boasting and continue looting as usual. It is also remarkable in the letter Awami League finance minister tried to alleviate IMF concern that 8 new banks Awami League regime given permission for would have independent oversight. It is worth mentioning that Awami League floundering banking rule forced Bangladesh bank to give permission for banks for its party man including current home minister and nephew of prime minister.

    -----------------------------------

    Muhith writes to IMF presidentPromises to ensure better discipline in financial sector
    Published : Saturday, 23 February 2013

    The involvement of ministry of finance (MoF) in regulating and supervising the state-owned banks (SoBs) will be kept at the minimum level, through empowerment of Bangladesh Bank (BB) and further strengthening its capacity for the tasks, like removing the chief executive officers (CEOs) from such banks, whenever it is considered necessary for better financial discipline, said a policy note of the government.

    It said a thorough pre-opening inspection of all newly approved banks will be conducted by the BB, forceful actions will be undertaken to recover siphoned-off funds of Sonali Bank Ltd, through loan scams and the SoBs will themselves amortise valuation adjustments made to their balance sheets.

    Full report:
    Financial Express :: Financial Newspaper of Bangladesh
     
  9. idune

    idune ELITE MEMBER

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    Awami League Dhaka region advisor and Awami League home minister assistant openly engaged in arguments and revealed how they were looting money from different projects. Right after Shahbag fascist / nastik went to see home minister Awami leaders engaged in arguments over distribution of money gained from looting and wholesale Awami League corruption.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. idune

    idune ELITE MEMBER

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    Awami League releasing its looting partners, head of Destiny and Hallmark for looting more than billion dollor worth from Bangladeshi Bank and general population.

    -----------------------------
    Destiny walks in Hallmark footsteps currying favour with govt

    With the government apparently taking a soft stance against the notorious Hallmark Group, the controversial multi-level marketing giant Destiny, facing several money laundering cases, has appealed to the government to let its major subsidiaries resume operations on the grounds of protecting its clients’ interests.

    Acting president Ashraful Amin of Destiny Group, which swindled its clients out of Tk 3,800 crore, made the appeal in a letter to the finance ministry on March 24, ministry officials said on Thursday.Destiny Group in the letter claimed it was a victim of ‘anti-liberation forces’ and media ‘propaganda’. The group said it had collected Tk 5,121 crore from its clients between 2000 and 2012 through its three major subsidiaries – Destiny 2000, Destiny Multipurpose Cooperative Limited, and Destiny Plantation Limited.

    Of the amount the group claims to have spent Tk 5,000 crore, including tax payments. The letter then requests the government to consider the appeal for the sake of protecting the interests of the group’s 4.5 million clients.Finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, who has been very critical of the group’s illegal activities, forwarded the letter on Thursday to the Bank and Financial Institutions Division for review, said the ministry officials.

    The development took place one day after Muhith had said the government might allow reopening some of the manufacturing units of Hallmark Group as a part of a plan to recover the funds embezzled by Hallmark executives from state-owned commercial banks.Hallmark Group top executives now in custody may be granted bails for the same purpose, the minister told reporters on Wednesday.

    The previously obscure Hallmark Group embezzled Tk 3,700 crore from Sonali Bank Ruposhi Bangla Hotel Branch alone. It has been reported that an influential quarter of the ruling Awami League is sympathetic towards the group. The roles played by the Bangladesh Bank and the Banking Division of the ministry in this regard have also drawn much criticism.

    The Anti-Corruption Commission has already filed 11 cases against 27 officials of Hallmark and Sonali Bank. The commission is now investigating the cases.The ACC also has filed two cases against 22 Destiny Group high-ups, including chairman Harun-ur Rashid and managing director Rafiqul Amin, under the Money Laundering Prevention Act. Harun, a former army chief, has obtained bail on condition.


    Transparency International, Bangladesh chapter executive director Iftekharuuzaman said they were shocked at the government move that showed a softened attitude towards Hallmark and Destiny.


    He said the finance minister should reconsider his statement on Hallmark. Otherwise, the countrymen would conclude that swindlers got rewarded by the AL-led government, he added.

    Economist Anu Muhammad said the government’s soft attitude towards the money launderers is not surprising. The present government has also failed to punish the masterminds behind the 2010-11 share market scandal, he pointed out.
    According to observers, the present government has been dillydallying in prosecuting the Destiny Group since early last year, when the central bank unearthed illegal banking by Destiny Multipurpose Cooperative Limited. Only widespread criticism forced the government to launch a probe into the allegations against it.

    The probe committee suspected almost half of the Tk 3,800 crore the group had embezzled from its clients was smuggled out of the country. The committee failed to learn the whereabouts of the fund after the group invested it in newly-created sister concerns of Destiny 2000 Limited, Destiny Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited and Destiny Tree Plantation Limited.
    The findings of the probe committee are almost similar to the information disclosed by the ACC probe, which spotted laundering of Tk 3,285 crore by the group that had mainly thrived during the last five years cashing in on lapses in monitoring by the regulators concerned.

    Destiny walks in Hallmark footsteps currying favour with govt
     
  11. idune

    idune ELITE MEMBER

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    Floodgate of laundering bank money
    Move to allow Hall-Mark operation again: Experts against pardoning dishonest business house

    The Finance Ministry's move to rehabilitate the errant Hall-Mark Group evokes sharp criticism among the bankers who said such a move will open the 'floodgate' of laundering money from banks.

    They said, if dishonest business houses get state pardon it would become a bad precedence in the country's history of financial sector and this will also cause a big erosion in the country image abroad.

    Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Wednesday told the reporters that the Hall-Mark Group would be allowed to operate again through appointment of an administrator and granting bail to its Managing Director Tanvir Mahmud now in jail.

    Replying to a question Muhith said that loan scandals have also took place in 1982 when 10 business firms misused bank loans .
    "The move would ensure recovery of the Hall-Mark money of the Sonali Bank's Rupashi Bangla Branch," said the minister, adding that the wise decision will be to take measures to run the industries of the Group again and create situation for repayment.
    Dr Ibrahim Khaled, a former deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank (BB) said, the fund, which the Hall-Mark Group has embezzled from Sonali Bank, was not a loan, it was an outright forgery case.

    As they took the money through fake documents, there is no legal acceptance of rescheduling the loan or extend funding support against the Group."The existing banking rules cannot allow loan rescheduling to the Company and even the minister himself cannot allow the facility. If it happens, there will be no rule of law in the country," he added.

    He added, the minister cannot take such a soft attitude towards an errant business Group, because it will transmit wrong signal among the people who may finally come to believe that banks can be swindled and there is no need to pay.

    "It will destroy the banking discipline and cause unrest, reducing people's confidence in the system," Ibrahim Khaled said.
    He said, the finance minister is sufferings from short memories and misinterpreting things in a way which is spreading distorted information and misleading people.


    Ibrahim Khaled, who was also a former chairman of Bangladesh Krishi Bank said it while speaking on this latest move to exonerate financial scandals and reward the swindlers.

    Referring to the comment that in 1982 similar loan scams had happened and this is nothing new in present financial scandals, Khaled said that the Finance Minister is wrong in making such comparison.He said that there were some incidents of loan scandals in 1990s by some big business groups. But this time it is outright swindling instead of loan scams. Big swindlers have stolen away money from banks under the cover of fake documents in the name of purchasing inland bills, besides, funding fictitious projects.

    Former governor of Bangladesh Bank Dr Salehuddin Ahmed said this is a kind of 'perverse incentive' if provided and it should not be done. He said, a company has stolen away over Tk 2,500 crore under fictitious loan documents, this can't be exonerated. It will only put wrong signals to the business community to become dishonest.

    Salehuddin said, most projects of the Group are unviable and whatever more money may be pumped, may end in failure to bail out them. The government must move with cautions, he suggested and demanded that all properties it has must be immediately confiscated.

    ACC chairman Gulam Rahman said, opening Hall-Mark factories is a government decision, it will not hamper his investigation in the scandal. The investigation is going on following legal procedure, he said.The ACC is carrying out the investigation of the scam based on documents. So, there is a little chance of fear and favour from the part of ACC. He affirmed that the country's anti-graft body would take stern action against the panderers of public money after completion of lawful investigation.

    http://www.thenewnationbd.com/newsdetails.aspx?newsid=69894
     
  12. the just

    the just FULL MEMBER

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    Thakur ghore ke re?Ami kola khaina.
     
  13. animelive

    animelive SENIOR MEMBER

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    Suranjit Sengupta MP Embroiled in Corruption Again | BDINN.com
     
  14. idune

    idune ELITE MEMBER

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    Juba League men building market on city footpath

    Some Juba League leaders with the connivance of businessmen at Bangabazar are constructing a ‘market’ on the footpath at Gulishtan and selling ‘possessions’ for Tk 10 lakh each.

    The syndicate, however, claimed that they have ‘approval’ from the Dhaka South City Corporation for the market construction and they would provide businessmen with required documents in support of their legal allocation.Bricklayers on Monday were laying the foundation of the narrow building on the footpath bordering the wall of the T&T office,
    some 200 metres off the DSCC office.

    The under-construction market was sheeted with gunny cloth apparently to hide the work.‘We will construct 28 shops each of 32 square feet in the market and will hand them over in a month,’ said Monir Hossain Bablu, a Bangabazar businessman. He said that they were selling the possession of each of shop for Tk 10 lakh.

    Nasir Hossain, a young man who is looking after the ‘project,’ said that interested businessmen could buy shops without any harassment as Juba League leaders Samrat Bhai and Sahabuddin Bhai were looking after the matter. Ward 20 Juba League unit senior vice-president Abdus Salam and secretary Sahabuddin Ahmed along with a group of local musclemen on June 14 forced out 100 hawkers from the footpath at night and covered the area with gunny cloths, witnesses said.

    The Shahbagh police the next day seized the gunny cloths and bamboos but returned them after six hours. The Shahbagh police operation officer, subinspector Jafar Ali, however, could not give details.

    None of the Juba League leaders were found during a visit to their office set up ‘illegally’ bordering the T&T office.
    The Dhaka city south unit Juba League president, Ismail Chowdhury Samrat, said that he was aware of the market construction and it was being done with the approval of the city corporation.‘One of our leaders, Ratan, is constructing the market. Twenty out of the 28 shops will be given to affected hawkers. The remaining eight will be given to Juba League office,’ he added.

    The Dhaka South City Corporation’s chief estate officer Mohammad Jamal Hussain told New Age on Monday that he had come to know of the illegal establishment on the footpath and hoped that the construction would be stopped and structures erected so far demolished by Wednesday.The Dhaka Metropolitan Police has also responsibility for monitor the footpath as the city corporations did not have enough manpower to do this, another official said.According to the two city corporations of Dhaka, there are about 389 kilometres of footpath in the city.The LGRD and cooperatives ministry on July 2, 2012 asked various political outfits to remove their offices illegally set up on city footpath.

    The ministry also engaged the Dhaka City Corporation and the Dhaka Metropolitan Police in stopping the encroachment on the footpath.The decision was made a day after a gunfight had broken out in an office of the ruling Awami League’s youth front Juba League at Mohakhali. The office was built by occupying the footpath.

    The High Court on February 26, 2012, directed the home secretary, the police, and the city corporations to remove obstacles on the footpath from Zero Point to Sadarghat in 48 hours to mitigate the suffering of pedestrians. But nothing like this was done.

    Juba League men building market on city footpath
     
  15. idune

    idune ELITE MEMBER

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    ACC spots Tk 3,500cr BASIC Bank loan scam

    The Anti-Corruption Commission launched an inquiry of the alleged embezzlement of Tk 3,500 crore from state-owned Bangladesh Small Industries and Commerce Bank Limited, commission officials said.

    The commission in the past week set up a four-member team to look into the embezzlement of public fund allegedly by the bank’s chairman Sheikh Abdul Hye Bacchu, managing director Kazi Faqurul Islam and some other directors misusing power and violating banking laws.

    Commission officials said the fund alleged to have been misappropriated from BASIC Bank, a specialised bank responsible for giving loans to small industries, had come to light within months after Tk 3,600 crore being laundered by the little-known Hallmark Group and five other companies from Sonali Bank Limited, the largest state-owned bank in Bangladesh, surfaced.
    The commission’s chairman Ghulam Rahman said that the commission would take action if the allegations of fund embezzlement from BASIC Bank were found to be true.

    Ghulam told New Age on Saturday that he would not make further comments on the inquiry that is under way. ‘I will make further comments after the team submits the report.’

    The commission officials said that the Bangladesh Bank had given a notice to the BASIC Bank board of directors about the irregularities in June 2011. The central bank directed the BASIC Bank to take necessary steps in this regard but the BASIC Bank did not follow the directives because of political pressure, they said.

    The officials said that the inquiry team had already held a meeting over the alleged embezzlement committed through letters of credit, inland bill purchases and forged documents.Abdul Hye is suspected, they said, to have disbursed Tk 6,000 crore in loans to different companies out of which Tk 3,500 crore was given in breach of banking rules and regulations.

    The inquiry team will focus on transactions of the branches at Gulshan, Shantinagar and Dilkusha in Dhaka and the Rajshahi branch as mainly these branches are said to be involved in the embezzlement. Around Tk 1,600 crore was misappropriated through the Gulshan branch. The branch manager, Shipar Ahmed, violated rules and sanctioned loans to six fake companies. He was also allegedly involved in giving unauthorised loans to nine companies between 2009 and August 2012.

    The companies are S Suhi Shipping Line (Tk 45 crore), S Recourse Shipping Line (Tk 65 crore), Shifan Shipping Line (Tk 50 crore), Amira Shipping Line (Tk 90 crore), SFG Shipping Line (Tk 75 crore) and Green Bangla Shipping Line (Tk 130 crore).
    Commission officials said that Sheikh Shahriar Panna, brother of the BASIC Bank chairman, had embezzled about Tk 730 crore.
    They said that Tk 1,500 crore was allegedly embezzled from the bank’s Shantinagar branch.

    The bank chairman took the larger portion of the fund which is about Tk 400 crore. Some high government officials allegedly also received shares of the so-called loan but the commission officials did not name them.

    An official said that the Shantinagar branch had given the suspected loan to Nahar Garden (Tk 25 crore), Auto Define (Tk 163 crore), Syed Traders (Tk 27 crore), Ahmed Faizur Rhman (Tk 55 crore), LR Trading (Tk 35 crore), Fiez Auto (Tk 118 crore), Eco Brice (Tk 55 crore), Noman Textile (Tk 110 crore) and Aristocrat (Tk 70 crore).

    The Dilkusha branch gave about Tk 14,00 crore in loans to some companies. It sanctioned loans to Balyet Navigation (Tk 70 crore), Adib Dyeing (Tk 55 crore), Welltex (Tk 42 crore), Well Sweaters (Tk 25 crore), Syed Constructions (Tk 70 crore), Bay Navigation (Tk 55 crore), Alotec (Tk 28 crore), Apollo Constructions (Tk 65 crore) and Emerald (Tk 55 crore).
    The officials said that they would get primary information on the Rajshahi branch in a few days.
    After the case of the Hallmark Group, the commission is now looking into financial irregularities of more than Tk 3,800 crore alleged to have been embezzled from the state-owned banks such as Sonali Bank, Janata Bank, Rupali Bank and Agrani Bank.

    ACC spots Tk 3,500cr BASIC Bank loan scam