Loan from NRB Bank: No rules meant for Shahed



You have probably heard about people getting caught in the web of intricate banking procedures to secure loans. But have you ever heard of bank high-ups coming up with recommendations to sanction loan to a newbie businessman with no account and transaction records with the very bank?

Regent Hospital Chairman Mohammad Shahed made it possible back in 2014 when NRB Bank approved him a loan of over Tk 2 crore, according to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Without depositing any money, Shahed, on behalf of Regent Hospital, opened a current account with the private bank’s SME department on November 17 that year.

Shahed, who was arrested by Rab last week over a Covid-19 test report scam, did not have any prior transaction history with the bank. Nor did NRB check his transaction records with other banks. The bank also did not take enough collateral for the loan, said ACC officials.

Despite all these, a former vice president of the SME department and a former principal officer of the bank recommended sanctioning him the loan on November 16, a day before the account was opened, according to the anti-graft watchdog.

Both the officials are accused in two graft cases filed by ACC last year. The former vice president of NRB Bank is now the head of a department at another private bank, said sources at the ACC.

The Daily Star could not reach NRB Bank officials concerned for comments on the issue. It is not publishing names of the two officials in question as they also could not be contacted.

As per terms and conditions of the loan, Shahed maintained a FDR worth Tk 1 crore. Against the FRD, he, however, received a loan of Tk 2,04,90,987 between November 2014 and January 15, 2018, said ACC sources.

Shahed allegedly did not repay installments on time. He owed the bank another Tk 65.79 lakh as interests and other charges.

The bank later adjusted the loan with his FDR and deposited interests worth Tk 1.18 crore. Till this date, the bank could not recover the rest Tk 1.51 crore, said ACC sources.

ACC Assistant Director Sirajul Hoque would soon file a case over the matter, confirmed the sources.

In another development, the home ministry has tasked Rab with investigating the coronavirus test report scam, said officials of the force.

Talking to the Daily Star, Rab Director (Legal and Media) Lt Col Ashique Billah said they had requested the ministry to allow them carry out the investigation and got the approval.

“We’ll now appoint an investigation officer to probe the case,” he said.

On July 7, a mobile court sealed off Regent Hospital, owned by Shahed, in the capital’s Uttara on charges of issuing several thousand fake Covid-19 test certificates and swindling a huge amount of money.

PLEA TO SHOW SHAHED

HELD IN GRAFT CASES

The prosecution yesterday pleaded to the Metropolitan Magistrate Court-23 of Dhaka to show Shahed arrested in two cases filed over misappropriation of more than Tk 3.68 crore of a businessman.

Monir Hossain, a lawyer for the complainant, also prayed to the court to order that Shahed be produced before it during the next hearing on August 13.

The lawyer told the court that Shahed was arrested in Satkhira on July 15 while he was trying to flee the country on a boat. Later, he was placed on a 10-day remand in a case filed over issuing fake Covid-19 certificates.

After the hearing, Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Md Habibur Rahman Chowdhury asked the lawyer to give details on when Shahed was arrested and where he is now.

The court will pass an order on the matter after the lawyer submits the information, said court sources.

On July 13, Saifullah Masud, proprietor of M/S Masud Enterprize in Karwan Bazar, filed the cases against Shahed for his alleged involvement in the embezzlement.

The same day, another magistrate issued arrest warrants for Shahed and directed the officer-in-charge of Uttara Pashchim Police Station to submit by August 13 a report on the execution of the warrants.

In the first case, Saifullah told the court that Shahed bought iron rods and cement from his shop worth Tk 1 crore between January 18 and March 24 in 2018. Against the dues, Shahed issued four cheques to Saifullah, but told him not to encash those without his permission.

On June 25 this year, Saifullah requested Shahed to pay his dues. But Shahed threatened him with dire consequences if he demanded the money, Saifullah claimed.

In the second case, the plaintiff said he supplied iron rods and cement worth Tk 2.68 crore to Shahed between 2018 and March this year.

When Saifullah asked for the money over phone on July 8, Shahed refused to pay. He lodged a general diary with Uttara Pashchim Police Station on the same day over the matter.

On June 3, Saifullah filed a complaint with the home ministry in this regard.





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