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Defaulter Elias Brothers directors barred from leaving country

Our Correspondent . Chattogram
27 May 2023 00:00:00 | Update: 27 May 2023 00:20:25
Defaulter Elias Brothers directors barred from leaving country

The Chattogram Money Loan Court has barred two directors of Messers Elias Brothers, popularly known as MEB, from leaving the country in a loan default case on Thursday.

The court ordered the ban against Aminul Karim and Nurul Absar- two directors of the conglomerate - based on an application by Dhaka Bank.

Judge Mujahidur Rahman of the court gave the order, Bench Assistant Rezaul Karim confirmed to The Business Post.

He said Dhaka Bank Khatunganj branch had applied to the court seeking a ban against Aminul Karim and Nurul Absar. The court approved it and directed them to appear in court with their passports on June 18.

According to sources, Aminul Karim, the owner of AK Enterprises located at 269, Khatunganj, took a loan from the Dhaka Bank with his brother Nurul Absar as the guarantor.

Currently, including the interest, the total repayable amount of the loan stands at Tk 10,19,61,756.56 crore, Dhaka Bank told the court, adding that there was no suitable property mortgaged against the loan.

According to the list of defaulters published by the finance ministry, Elias Brothers is one of the top defaulters in the country. The company has taken thousands of crores as loans from various banks and defaulted over Tk 801 crore.

The conglomerate defaulted Tk 280 crore alone from the state-owned Agrani Bank. Among other banks, it defaulted Tk 61.99 crore from AB Bank, Tk 36.83 crore from Bank Asia, Tk 71.80 crore from Eastern Bank, Tk 142.70 crore from National Bank, Tk 28.54 crore from One Bank, Tk 60.19 crore from Pubali Bank, Tk 22.43 crore from Standard Bank, and Tk 56 crore from The City Bank.

Last year, a Chattogram court sentenced three high-ups of the group including its managing director and chairman, to five months in prison for defaulting on a loan of Tk668 crore.

In 2013, several banks filed a case in 2013 against the company in the Money Loan Court to recover the defaulted loans.

Messrs Elias Brothers grew into one of the leading industrial conglomerates in Bangladesh in 1990s and was a darling of banks and financial institutions.

Founded as a trading company by a young Mohammad Elias and his elder brother Ahmed Hussain in 1962, MEB initially focused on trading consumer goods and gradually expanded into areas such as galvanised plain sheets, ship-breaking, agro-industry, glass sheet, soybean oil, beverages, paper, board, garments, etc. Soon, it became one of the top conglomerates of the country.

In the 1990s, MEB alone controlled about 15-20 per cent of the country’s commodity market in the 1990s. But the course of the group took a turn in the wrong direction when Elias died on April 29, 1997.

His son Shamsul Alam and niece Nurul Absar, also the son of Ahmed Hussain, took over as the managing director and the chairman of the group, respectively. The companies were divided among the heirs.