Hallmark loan scam: MD Tanvir, wife among 9 get life imprisonment

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NN Online Report: Saying that the highest penalty for embezzlement should be death sentence, a Dhaka court today (19 March) sentenced Hallmark Group Managing Director Tanvir Mahmud, his wife Jesmin Islam, and nine others to life imprisonment in one of the cases filed over the Tk3,500 crore Sonali Bank loan scam.

Tanvir and Jesmin, also the chairperson of Hallmark Group, were also fined Tk5 crore each.

Additionally, Sonali Bank’s former managing director Humayun Kabir and eight others have received various prison terms.

Dhaka Special Judge’s Court-1 Judge Abul Kashem passed the verdict today (19 March), ACC lawyer Mir Ahmed Ali Salam confirmed.

Among those sentenced to life imprisonment are also Tanvir’s brother Tushar Ahmed, who holds the position of chief executive officer, T and Brothers Director Taslim Hasan, Max Spinning Mills owner Mir Zakaria, Paragon Group Managing Director Saiful Islam Raja, Nakshi Knit managing directors Abdul Malek, Abdul Motin, and Taslim Hasan.

Eight other who were handed different terms in the same case are – Saval Hemayetpur’s Tantuljhora Union Parishad (UP) Chairman Md Jamal Uddin Sarkar, Sonali Bank Senior Executive Officer (Dhanmondi Branch) Meherunnesa Merry,  Sonali Bank (head office) former general managers Nani Gopal Nath and Mir Mohidur Rahman, former managing director Humayun Kabir, Deputy Managing Director (DMD) Mainul Haque, Deputy General Manager (DGM) Safi Uddin, and AGM Md Kamrul Hossain Khan.

UP Chairman Jamal Uddin has been sentenced to five years in prison, while the others have received 10-year prison terms each.

Currently, Jamal Uddin and Altaf Hossain are out on bail. Saiful Islam, Abdul Matin, Humayun Kabir, Nani Gopal Nath, Taslim, Saiful Hasan, Meherunnesa, and Zakaria are still fugitives.

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Meanwhile, Tanvir, Tushar, Jasmine, and the remaining eight accused are in custody.

Tanvir and Jasmine are accused of embezzling Tk16.5 crore after taking a loan of Tk525.62 crore in the name of a non-existent Max Spinning Mills.

They were accused of embezzling the money between 18 September 2011 and 30 April 2012 by opening fake LCs (Letters of Credit) in the name of 11 Hallmark Group companies to pay for imported goods.

On 4 October 2012, Nazmuchchadat, assistant director at the Anti-Corruption Commission Head Office, filed a case with Ramna Police Station for embezzling Tk135,44,9,484 from the Hotel Sheraton branch of Sonali Bank.

Tushar was arrested on 8 October 2012 in this case.

Following the investigation, on 7 October 2013, the investigating officer filed a charge sheet against the 17 accused in 11 cases. These 11 cases were transferred to Special Judge’s Court-1 in Dhaka for trial.

Later, on 17 February and 27 March 2016, the trial court framed charges against the accused.

businessFollowing today’s verdict on one of those cases, the remaining cases are pending trial.

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