Bangladesh arrests tycoon over huge bank scam

Published Oct 08, 2012 09:25am

The image shows Bangladeshi police officers. - File Photo

DHAKA: Bangladesh police have arrested a textile tycoon over allegations that he was involved in embezzling $192 million in the country's largest ever banking scam, officials said Monday.

Officers arrested Tanvir Mahmud, managing director of Hallmark Group, and his brother-in-law, a group general manager, at a house in the capital Dhaka, police spokesman Abhishek Ahmed told AFP.

“We made several raids to arrest Mahmud since Saturday night following a request from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). We found him on Sunday night,” Ahmed said.

Mahmud, his wife, five Hallmark executives and 20 staff at Sonali Bank, the country's largest state-owned lender, have been charged by the ACC with embezzling $192 million between 2010 and May this year.

The central bank has also accused Hallmark of stealing another $120 million from the same Sonali branch.

The ACC has described the case as “the biggest banking plunder in the country's history”.

The allegations are the latest in a series of scandals in Bangladesh after a dramatic stock market crash in 2010-11 and a major pyramid scheme collapse.

Sonali Bank, which has some 1,200 branches across the country, has already suspended 20 officials including two senior executives for their alleged role in the embezzlement.


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