Former chairman of Farmers Bank Audit Committee Mahabubul Haque Chisty, his son and two officials of the bank landed in jail yesterday after the Anti-Corruption Commission arrested them in a Tk 160-crore laundering case.
Mahabubul, his son Rashedul Haque Chisty, the bank's Senior Vice President Zia Uddin Ahmed and First Vice President Muhammad Masudur Rahman Khan were produced before a Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate's Court that sent them to prison.
It also placed Mahabubul on remand for five days and the others for four days.
Earlier in the morning, ACC Deputy Director Shamsul Alam filed the case with Gulshan Police Station, accusing six persons, including the four. The other two are Mahabubul's wife Ruzi Chisty and ex-manager of the bank's Gulshan Corporate Branch Delwar Hossain.
The ACC found that between November 18, 2013 and January 30 this year, Tk 138.82 crore was deposited with the current accounts of Bakshiganj Jute Spinners Ltd, owned by Mahabubul's son, wife and daughter, at Farmers Bank's Bakshiganj and Gulshan branches.
Later, the entire amount was withdrawn in cash.
Though the transactions were suspicious, Zia and Delwar who were managers of Bakhsiganj and Gulshan branches at that time, didn't inform Bangladesh Bank about it, and thus abetted the laundering of the money, reads the case statement.
Besides, at least seven suspicious transactions of more than Tk 13 crore were made involving bank accounts of Mahabubul and his son, according to the ACC.
On January 8, 2014, Tk 2 crore was suspiciously transferred to Mahabubul's savings account at Farmers Bank's Gulshan Corporate Branch from a current account of Saif Powertek Ltd.
Besides, eight pay orders worth Tk 1.34 crore were issued against Mahabubul and his family members from different branches of Farmers Bank under suspicious circumstances.
Examining the bank documents, the ACC also found that 16 more pay orders worth Tk 1.80 crore were issued against Rashed Enterprise, owned by Mahabubul, in a similar way.
The case document also mentions that in breach of the rules, the bank's Gulshan branch on April 25 last year disbursed a loan of Tk 5.42 crore to Tonuj Corporation, which has business links with Mahabubul.
On the same day, Mahabubul's personal assistant Zakir Hossain applied to the then Farmers Bank director Morshed Murad Ibrahim for buying shares of the bank for Mahabubul and his family members.
Zakir paid Morshed Tk 2.85 crore from the amount through a pay order, the ACC said.
Besides, Farmers Bank disbursed a loan of Tk 2.5 crore to the current account of Apartment Design and Development (Pvt) Ltd at its Mirpur branch on March 19 last year.
The money was transferred to the account of another borrower, Elma Trading Corporation, through two cheques the same day.
Later, the money was withdrawn through three cheques and given to Rumi Aktar, one of the shareholders of the bank, who sold her shares to Mahabubul and his family members, said the ACC.
Another Tk 1.4 crore was withdrawn from the current account of Jahan Traders, without any cheque. Of the amount, Tk 40 lakh was paid to Rumi.
The ACC also said it found Tk 6.88 crore in Mahabubul's account at Farmers Bank's Bakhsiganj branch.
Quoting the investigation officer of the case, ACC Chairman Iqbal Mahmood said the IO is yet to trace the money.
The ACC will try to glean information from the arrestees about the laundered money, he said, adding that the anti-graft body will show zero tolerance to corruption.
In December last year, the central bank unearthed that Farmers Bank's Motijheel branch disbursed more than Tk 500 crore that were sanctioned to 11 companies in violation of the banking norms and procedures.
Of the amount, loans of Tk 367 crore that the branch gave to 10 of the firms from November 2013 to November last year have become defaulted. Some of the firms are either obscure or little-known.
According to a BB probe report, Mahabubul was involved in the financial scams that took place in the bank's Gulshan and Mowna branches.
The central bank has held the private bank's ex-chairman Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir and Mahabubul largely responsible for the scams.