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ACC launches probe into Bismillah Group scam

Staff Correspondent

The Anti-Corruption Commission on Tuesday formed a five-member team to probe an alleged embezzlement of around Tk 1,100 crore from five banks through fake documents by Bismillah Towels Group.
The commission deputy director Syed Iqbal Hossain will lead the probe team. The other members of the team are assistant directors Tawfiqul Islam and Gulshan Anwar Pradhan, and deputy assistant directors Sarder Masur Ahmed and Al Amin.
Bismillah Group allegedly embezzled about Tk 392.57 crore from Janata Bank Ltd, Tk 306.22 crore from Prime Bank Ltd, Tk 163.79 from Jamuna Bank Ltd, Tk 148.79 crore from Shahjalal Islami Bank Ltd and Tk 62.97 crore from Premier Bank Ltd over last three years.
ACC chairman Ghulam Rahman said that inquiry had already been launched into another allegation of fraud against Bismillah Group which, according to its official website, started business in 1988.
He said that the commission had now launched a probe the fresh allegation.
A central bank inspection has reportedly found that three companies of the group had swindled the amount out of the five banks between 2010 and 2012.
The group committed the fraud by obtaining cash incentives showing fake export documents, taking advantage of purchase of inland bills, and overpricing non-existing export items.
The groups found involved in the scam are Bismillah Towels Ltd, Hindul Wali Textile Ltd and Alppa Composite Towels Ltd.
A Bangladesh Bank inspection report said Bismillah Group had taken Tk 17 crore as incentives from Prime Bank Motijheel branch and Tk 3.79 crore from Janata Bank Moghbazar branch by showing false documents.
Bangladesh is an emerging exporter in terry towel items. But industry players have set up a few companies, like Bismillah Group, which are damaging the prospects of the sector, industry experts said.
Bangladesh generally exports basic towels that costs between $5.10 and $5.70 per kilogram, but Bismillah Group showed its export prices between $9.50 and $12.50 per kilogram.
Its other concerns are – Saharish Composite Towel Ltd, Sehreen Textile Industries Ltd, Afros Spinning Mills Ltd, Bismillah Cargo Express, BTG Holdings Ltd and Progressive Overseas Ltd.

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