AB Bank chairman, vice chairman, director resign

AB Bank chairman, vice chairman, director resign

Dhaka, Dec 21 (Just News): AB Bank chairman M Wahidul Haque, its vice chairman Selim Ahmed and director Fahimul Haque have resigned from their positions in the bank.

They stepped down within a couple of days of media reports that a central bank probe has found the bank's alleged involvement in laundering of around Tk 165 crore to the United Arab Emirates through two shady organisations in the name of investment.

Their resignations were disclosed at the annual general meeting (AGM) of the bank held at a city hotel on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, they submitted their resignation letters to the board of directors of the bank at the meeting, said an official at the bank wishing not to be named.

Their resignation letters were accepted at the AGM, he said.

Meanwhile, MA Awal, a former director of the bank, has been elected new chairman of the bank while Mushtak Ahmed Chowdhury vice-chairman and Sheikh Shirin director.

The selection of the new chairman and others were approved at the AGM, Mahadev Saha, company secretary of the AB Bank, said, adding that as per the banking law, they will send their names to the Bangladesh Bank for the final approval.
 Former Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan and his family members own 25 percent share in the bank. 

According to a Bangladesh Bank probe report conducted in October last, the AB Bank's board of directors in December 2013 approved the investment of $20 million in Singapore-based fundraising and investment company, Pinnacle Global Fund Pte Ltd (PGF), through the bank's Offshore Banking Unit (OBU).

In February 2014, the OBU allegedly laundered the money to an account at the UAE-based Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB).

The account belonged to Cheng Bao General Trading LLC which acted as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) or a mediator for the PGF. Cheng Bao immediately withdrew the money and closed the account.

It could not be known where the money went after the withdrawal as the AB Bank failed to give the central bank any substantial documents on Cheng Bao and the PGF, according to reports published in different media.

Wahidul Haque, two ex-managing directors M Fazlur Rahman and Shamim Ahmed Chaudhury, and its former head of financial institutions and treasury Abu Hena Mustafa Kamal were directly involved in the money laundering, said a media report referring to the central bank's investigation report.

The central bank sent the report to the Anti-Corruption Commission on November 15.