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Moon Group grabs Tk 115cr Agrani Bank loan

BB probe recommends punishment for 9 bank officials for collusion
Bangladesh Bank special  inspection  team has found that Agrani Bank disbursed Tk 115.18 crore in loan to Moon Group owned by controversial  businessman Mizanur Rahman for the construction of three buildings with unapproved structural designs while the Group shifted the loan to other sector without constructing the buildings.
The inspection report said that the principal branch of the state-owned bank disbursed the loan to Moon Bangladesh Ltd, a sister concern of Moon Group, starting in 2011.
Moon Bangladesh had taken approval to construct seven buildings at Kallyanpur on Mirpur Road in the capital from Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha in 1998, the BB report said.
But, the RAJUK in 2002 cancelled its approval given to Moon Bangladesh as the company did not renew structural designs of the buildings in due time.
The BB has recently conducted the inspection at the principal branch of Agrani Bank in this connection. The daily New Age has obtained a copy of the inspection report.
According to the structural designs of the buildings submitted by Moon Bangladesh to Agrani Bank for obtaining the loan, the company said that it would construct seven buildings in a row at Kallyanpur.
The company applied to the bank to give finance to construct three buildings of the seven, the BB report said.
The BB inspection team unearthed that the company so far had not completed construction process of one building although the officials concerned of Agrani Bank released the loan against three completely constructed buildings.
An official of Agrani Bank told that the group had not invested the bank’s money in constructing the buildings and shifted the finance to another sector.
The senior management of the bank assisted the group to shift the money by taking illegal facilities, he said.
According to the BB report, the officials who are involved in the loan scams are Agrani Bank deputy managing director Mizanur Rahman Khan, Deputy General Managers Akhtarul Alam, Amirul Islam and Jahor Lal Roy, Assistant General Manager Md Shafiullah, Senior Principal officers AKM Mujibur Rahman, Md Fujlul Hoque and Md Rafiqul Islam, and senior officer Aunirban Sirkar.
Agrani Bank did not take the land registration documents from the company against the loan disbursement.
In that case, the bank will face difficulties if it wants to take legal action against Moon Group in future.
The RAJUK issued notice to Moon Bangladesh on July 31 in 2011 to stop the construction work when the company started to construct a building.
Moon Bangladesh ignored the RAJUK notice and continued the construction work process illegally.
The company is yet to complete the construction work of any building.
The board of directors of Agrani Bank is going to approve another loan amounting to Tk 161 crore to Moon International Garments and Composite Textile Mills Ltd, another sister concern of Moon Group, according to the BB report.
The depositors’ money of the bank will plunge into more risky situation if the board sanctions the loan as Agrani Bank has already disbursed more than Tk 400 crore in loans to the Group owned by Mizan, said the BB report.
The majority of the loans are highly risky as the Group did not repay the credit in line with the bank’s conditions, a BB official said.
The central bank issued a letter to Agrani Bank on June 18 this year asking it to take punitive measures by the first week of July against its officials involved in the loan scandal.
The BB asked to take immediate measures to recover the loan as such type of credit disbursement created risky situation for the depositors’ money.
The central bank also asked the bank to explain why Agrani Bank would sanction fresh loan amounting to Tk 161 crore to the Group as the initiative would put the depositors’ money into further risk.
Agrani Bank was asked to issue a letter to the central bank by the first week of July following the directives but it (bank) is yet to issue any letter to the BB.
Agrani Bank Deputy Managing Director Mizanur Rahman Khan told this correspondent   that he and his colleagues concerned were held responsible in the central bank’s report as they were at the principal branch of the bank when the loan was sanctioned and disbursed.
Mizanur was general manager of the bank and head of its principle branch in 2011.
He, however, declined to give more comments in this regard.
Moon Group’s Mizan could not be reached .
Following the BB directive, Agrani Bank issued notice to Mizanur Rahman, MD of Moon Bangladesh Ltd on 23-6-2014 to return the loan amount of Tk 115.18cr with interest within 15 days but Mizanur Rahman filed case in 2nd District Judge in Dhaka challenging the order of the Bank.
It is mentionable that Bangladesh Bank investigated into the irregularities following the allegation of one  Sheikh Abdul Gani, power of attorney holder of Sheikh Md Joynal Abedin ,  real owner of the land where building was built illegally.
Sheikh Abdul Gani who is also No 1 plaintiff of the case alleged that the officials are not contesting the case reasons best known to the authority and he has already filed complaint to the Governor of BB in this regard.
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