Dhaka, Bangladesh
ACC resumes questioning of Abdul Hye Bachchu

ACC resumes questioning of Abdul Hye Bachchu

The Anti-Corruption Commission or ACC has resumed the interrogation of former BASIC Bank Chairman Sheikh Abdul Hye Bachchu over a Tk 35 billion loan fraud accusation, reports bdews.24.com The second day of Bachchu's questioning began at 10am on Wednesday, said ACC Deputy Director (Media) Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya. ACC Directors AKM Zayed Hossain Khan and Syed Iqbal are leading the interrogation. Questioning began Monday, when the former BASIC Bank executive answered a summons to appear at the ACC offices in Segunbagicha. The session lasted about two-and-a-half hours. That day Bachchu told the media he believed himself innocent. "The allegations are still being investigated. Nothing has been proven yet … Let us see what happens." The ACC began questioning people in connection with the loan fraud investigation on Oct 22. Other BASIC Bank directors, including Md Anwarul Islam, Anis Ahmad, Quamrun Naher Ahmed, Prof Kazi Akhtar Hossain, Shakhawat Hossain, Fakhrul Islam, AKM Kamrul Islam, Jahangir Akhand Salim, Shyam Sunder Sikder and AKM Rezaur Rahman, have already been questioned. The former executives are being questioned after several rounds of Supreme Court observations regarding corruption at the bank. The ACC opened an investigation into the state-run bank after allegations that Tk 35 billion in loans had been illegally distributed from the Gulshan, Dilkusha and Shantinagar branches between 2009 and 2011. BASIC Bank is accused of giving loans without collateral and using false documents and fictitious names and organisations in violation of rules and regulations. After nearly four years of investigation, the ACC filed 56 cases at three police stations in Dhaka, accusing 156 individuals. Twenty-six are bank officials. The rest are connected to lending institutions and bank oversight organisations. But the absence of Bachchu and other prominent members of the board of directors on the list of suspects prompted controversy. The ACC claimed they had not found any evidence of Bachchu's involvement. The parliamentary standing committee on the finance ministry was unhappy with the ACC findings and the central bank opened a separate investigation into the matter. In February 2016, Finance Minister AMA Muhith claimed the investigation into BASIC Bank had found evidence of Bachchu's roles in frauds tied to loans, appointment and promotion. In August, the Supreme Court's Appellate Division expressed its anger that Bachchu and the board of directors had not been named suspects in loan frauds and money laundering. The court warned the ACC not to 'pick and choose'. Facing criticism, an ACC director told the media that Bachchu would be called in for questioning, even though he was not on the list of suspects. Bachchu, a former Jatiya Party MP, was appointed the chairman of the bank in 2009. His appointment was renewed in 2012. Bachchu resigned in 2014 amid pressure following the emerging allegations. The finance minister said Bachchu would not be let off the hook.

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