Shrimps kept as collateral against a bank loan were secretly sold
The Anti-Corruption Commission in Khulna filed a case against five individuals on Mondayon charges of embezzling Tk18.5 crore from the corporate branch of Sonali Bank in Khulna.
Managing Director (MD) of Star Sea Food Industries Ltd Md Salauddin and the bank's godown keeper A Mannan were made the key accused in the case.
The case, filed by the ACC Deputy Director (Khulna) Md Shaon Miah, was registered with the Khulna Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court on Monday.
According to the case statement, Star Sea Food Industries Ltd borrowed a total of Tk18.5 crore from Sonali Bank.
The collateral against this loan was the exportable shrimp kept in the company’s godown.
The bank had appointed A Mannan Hawladar and supporting staff Rahim Babu for godown maintenance as long as the company did not pay back the loan.
However, Star Sea Food Industries Ltd MD Md Salauddin in collusion with Mannan sold all the exportable shrimps in the local market from July 15 to August 10 in 2017.
The then deputy general manager of the bank Abu Hossain Sheikh found out about the secret sale and filed a case with the local police station at that time.
Mannan, who is an activist of the ruling party’s affiliated organization Sramik League and president of Collective Bargaining Agent (CDA, a trade union of working men), allegedly influenced the law enforcement agencies using his connections with higher-ups.
Finally, the investigating officers of the police assigned in the case submitted a biased final report stating that no anomalies were found and the allegation made by the then Sonali Bank DGM was false.
According to sources, Mannan even went as far as harassing and threatening Abu Hossain in different ways for making the allegations.
But the tide started turning when the ACC started investigating the incident.
After a thorough investigation, the ACC claimed to have found evidence of irregularities and finally filed a case on Tuesday accusing five people including Mannan and Salauddin.
Confirming the matter, Sheikh Shahidul Islam, the current DGM of Sonali Bank’s Khulna Corporate Branch said Mannan has already been suspended over the matter and others who were accused would follow him once they get a final copy of the case.