Sonali Bank Scam
Dhaka : The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) on Monday interrogated two officials of Sonali Bank
over the allegation of disbursing around Tk 3,500 crore from its Ruposhi Bangla Hotel branch illegally.
The outright stealing of over 3,600 crore taka from the major state owned Bank
, the Sonali Bank
, is now the talk of the country.
It is indeed symbolic of lack of character of the bank's officials and the extent of the corruption indulged in by them which makes look small even the corrupt wheeling and dealings detected earlier by the World Bank
but prevented in case of the Padma Bridge.
The move to make money through graft in the Padma Bridge project was successfully prevented . But the Sonali Bank's
case of corruption is an established and proven one in which the bank's resources were just pilfered in connivance with its high ranking officials.
What is more hard to accept is the angry remark of the Finance Minister that the Bangladesh Bank
(BB) had no business calling for dissolution of the Board of Directors of the Sonali Bank
due to the detected case of corruption in it.
Notably, the BB
itself found out about the corruption.
And even laymen know it that as the custodian of the banking system or as supreme regulator of the state run and private banks, BB
should have hundred per cent jurisdiction over any bank or banking operation specially for taking steps against any banking activity likely to endanger the health of the financial sector as a whole.
Only lukewarm steps so far have come from the Sonali Bank's top brass in relation to its clearly recognized corrupt officials.
They were suspended only from doing their jobs which means that they have not been sacked for their crimes ; they would remain not active in their posts till their cases are finally settled.
So, there is possibility that they may even make a comeback in running the bank if they can manage, through using their political and other connections, to ward off the corruption charges.
For now, they are being hardly penalized for their transparently very serious financial crimes.
Already, the above huge sum of money have been taken out from the bank by the Hallmark group
and other enterprises against hardly any collaterals or largely insufficient collaterals.
Or securities against which the monies were taken out exist in paper only or are grossly undervalued in contrast to the loans.
It could not be that such irregularities have remained undetected so far without the collusion of members of the Board of Directors of Sonali Bank
Therefore, why the banking division of the Finance Ministry or the Finance Minister for that matter is stubbornly opposing dissolution of the Board of Directors, is posing as an increasingly bigger question.
If it keeps on like this, then none can be blamed for concluding that the Ministry has a vested interest in sheltering corruption in Sonali Bank
was most unfortunately rebuked by the Finance Minister for suggesting dissolution of the board of directors of Sonali Bank
when the Minister should have been only done the opposite.
An investigation by the Bangladesh Bank found out that the Ruposhi Bangla Hotel branch of Sonali Bank is responsible for illegally disbursing Tk 35.47 billion loan to Hallmark Group and five other companies between 2010 and May this year.