Monday, July 22, 2019

PMO after Islami Bank’s ‘corruption’

  • Shaikh Abdullah,
    Published: 2014-04-22 20:49:36 BdST

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has asked the Bangladesh Bank to provide information regarding the ‘irregularities and corruption’ that took place in Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited.

The bank, widely believed to be supported by the Jamaat-e-Islami, has come under fire from pro-liberation forces for their alleged funding of radical Islamist groups.

The PMO in a letter sent on Apr 15 made the request to the central bank’s Governor Atiur Rahman.

The letter was signed by PMO Director Mohammad Mukhlesur Rahman Sarker.

It reads, “Bangladesh Bank earlier had helped the government by providing information about the irregularities-corruptions at Islami Bank. The Prime Minister’s Office has received complaints regarding several other irregularities-corruptions.”

“Details on those irregularities-corruptions are needed. Hope, you will cooperate by providing the information soon.”

Copies of those complaints received at the PMO were attached with the letter and sent to the Bangladesh Back governor.

However, the PMO is yet to receive any answer, said a senior official.

HSBC UK, Citibank NA and Bank of America had earlier stopped business with Islami Bank for their alleged involvement in funding militants.

The Board of Directors of the bank is always dominated by people linked to Jamaat-e-Islami.

The party itself is facing investigation of the International Crimes Tribunal for the crimes against humanity committed during the War of Independence.

According to claims of Islami Oikya Jote leaders, the incumbent Chairman Abu Naser Mohammad Abduz Zaher was a leader of Al-Badr, a vigilante group of Bengalis raised by Pakistani occupation army, in Chittagong.

Islami Bank’s former Vice-Chairman Mir Quasem Ali is a member of Jamaat central committee and now facing trial for alleged war crimes perpetrated during the 1971 Liberation War.

He is also the member (administration) of Islami Bank Foundation and a member of Ibn Sina Board of Trustee, an associate organisation of the bank.

Islami Bank’s former Chairman Shah Abdul Hannan is known to be closely linked to the party, which had opposed the nation’s independence from Pakistan in 1971.

Its Deputy Managing Director Syed Abdullah Md Saleh is the sibling of former Jamaat MP from Chouddagram, Syed Abdullah M Taher.

The central bank enquiry has also found many irregularities in the bank’s loan disbursement in Bangladesh.

Islami Bank ran into criticism recently after donating Tk 30 million for an Independence Day event, which was organised by the cultural affairs ministry.

Facing a public outcry, the government later said that money would not be used in the event, ‘Lakho Konthe Sonar Bangla’, which was a bid to set a world record for most people singing the national anthem simultaneously.