Sonali Bank mulls differently

October 9, 2012

Tk 3,606cr Recovery
Sonali Bank mulls differently
Wary of legal implications for forged papers used in Hall-Mark loan
The Sonali Bank is looking for ways to get back around Tk 3,600 crore it lent to Hall-Mark and five other companies on false documents as the repayment has become uncertain.
The state-run bank now wants the six companies to sign stamps admitting the liabilities.
“The repayment largely depends on the willingness of the borrowers. Dishonest officials of the bank disbursed the loans without proper documentation,” Pradip Kumar Dutta, managing director of Sonali Bank, said.
“It was forgery, not lending.”
“All the six borrowers were called up to the bank’s headquarters on October 1. We’ve asked them to sign stamps admitting the liabilities,” he said.
Asked why the question of signatures has arisen now, the Sonali MD said, “We need documents to prove that they [borrowers] have taken the loans, so that we can go for legal action if they fail to repay.”
Pradip made the comments to this correspondent after a meeting with a parliamentary probe committee on the Hall-Mark scam last week.
A member of the probe body said it would be very difficult for the bank to recover the money.
“The bank did not follow the rules and maintain documents in giving the [Tk 3,600 crore] loans,” said the lawmaker wishing not to be named. But common people have too much hassle while borrowing only Tk 50,000.
Bank officials told The Daily Star yesterday that none of the borrowers put their signatures yet.
According to bankers, a bank has to follow certain procedures before giving a loan to businesses or individuals.
But no system was followed and no documentation was maintained by the Sonali Bank’s Ruposhi Bangla Hotel branch while giving the money to these parties, including the Hall-Mark, managing director of which was arrested Sunday night.
As of August 30, the six businesses owe Sonali Bank Tk 3,595.61 crore. Net liabilities of Hall-Mark stand at Tk 2,668.38 crore, T and Brothers Tk 672.99 crore, Paragon Knit Tk 146.21 crore, Nakshi Knit Tk 66.62 crore, DN Sports Tk 36.24 crore and Khan Jahan Ali Tk 5.17 crore.
There were also not adequate mortgages against these loans — particularly those given to Hall-Mark and T and Brothers — during the disbursement of the amount.
The Hall-Mark mortgaged 24.81 acre land while taking the loans between 2010 and this year and another 21.77 acre after the scam was detected in May.
Similarly, T and Brothers took nearly Tk 673 crore by mortgaging only 192.40-decimal land. After the scam was detected, it mortgaged another 502.88 decimal.
The loans granted to the two companies are estimated at 93 percent of the total liabilities.

Courtesy of The Daily Star

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