Hallmark Scam-Bank officials mention PM adviser link
A commission official on Wednesday told New Age that the majority of 21 bank officials who had faced interrogation in connection with the scam had said that the adviser had ‘some connections with the Hallmark Group.
Thursday September 06 2012 13:34:55 PM BDT
Most of the people the Anti-Corruption Commission inquiry team interrogated said that one of the prime minister’s advisers was connected to the misappropriation of Tk 3,547 crore by the Hallmark Group from the Ruposhi Bangla Hotel branch of the Sonali Bank.(The New Age BD )
A commission official on Wednesday told New Age that the majority of 21 bank officials who had faced interrogation in connection with the scam had said that the adviser had ‘some connections with the Hallmark Group.’
Saidur Rahman, an official of the Sonali Bank branch, on August 29 said the prime minister’s health affairs adviser Syed Modasser Ali had frequented the general manager in his office at the branch since 2009.
Commissioner Badiuzzaman on September 3 said that it would interrogate the prime minister’s health affairs adviser in connection with the scam.
The commission official interrogated the Hallmark Group general manager, Tushar Ahmed, for the second time on Wednesday.
The inquiry team, led by the commission’s deputy director Mir Joynul Abedin Shibli, interrogated Tushar for three hours beginning at 10:00am.
Coming out of the commission’s office after being interrogated, Tushar told reporters that he had submitted the licences and other documents of the 34 Hallmark companies.
‘The Hallmark Group was not involved in any illegal activities and it does not use any political support,’ Tushar said.
The commission earlier interrogated 21 Sonali Bank officials and seven Hallmark Group and three DN Sports Limited executives in connection with the scam.
DN Sports is suspected to have embezzled Tk 33.25 crore from the Sonali Bank branch at the Ruposhi Bangla Hotel.
On August 19, the Bangladesh Bank asked Sonali Bank to suspend 31 of its officials by August 30 for their alleged involvement in the illegal lending of Tk 3,547 crore to little-known Hallmark Group and five other companies.
A central bank letter sent to the managing director and chief executive officer of the Sonali Bank said that Saiful Shamsul Alam & Co, a chartered accountancy firm, had completed a functional audit of the illegal lending by the state-owned bank in which 32 of its officials were found involved.
The commission, after receiving a letter from the Bangladesh Bank on July 15, set up the six-member investigation team.
The New Age BD