Uttara Finance urges ACC to ban ex-MD’s overseas travel

Uttara Finance and Investment has asked the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to prevent its former managing director, SM Shamsul Arefin, from leaving Bangladesh due to his alleged involvement in scams.

The Non-Banking Financial Institution (NBFI) sent a letter to the ACC on September 14 stating that the accounting firm KPMG in Bangladesh had revealed Arefin’s involvement in the embezzlement of “a huge sum of Money” from the NBFI.

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The ACC has already started investigating following a request from the Bangladesh Bank.

“In such a situation, we are concerned that he may now attempt to escape the country in order to avoid likely legal action by law enforcement,” the letter said.

When contacted, Arefin told the Daily Star that he had been informed of the letter sent to the ACC.

“The allegations against me are completely baseless and false, which is why I will be filing a defamation suit against Uttara Finance,” he said.

He said he also filed a lawsuit in the Dhaka District Court against the central bank initiative.

KPMG in Bangladesh revealed Arefin’s involvement in embezzling “huge amount of money” from NBFI

The court has already issued an opinion on the central bank, asking it to explain why it would not put an “injunction” on the audit report.

Here, the injunction amounts to suspending the effectiveness of the audit report.

He said he had also filed a petition for an injunction in the High Court challenging the actions taken by the central bank against him.

Rashidul Hasan, chairman of the NBFI, declined to comment on the matter.

Bangladesh Bank dismissed Arefin from his post on June 23 for his alleged involvement in financial irregularities.

The central bank carried out a special inspection on the NBFI focusing on the period from October to November 2020.

The investigation revealed that irregularities in the disbursement of loans and collection of deposits involving Tk 5,100 crore were committed by the board and management of NBFI.

Arefin was found to be involved in the embezzlement and erosion of interest of depositors and other stakeholders of the financial institution, according to BB’s investigation report.

He took Tk 24.22 crore from the NBFI without the approval of his board. The amount was not even shown in NBFI’s financial statements and he has no loan account with the lender.

At that time, Arefin told the BB inspection team that he took the funds for his son’s treatment and returned a good sum in phases.

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