Home ›› 20 Jan 2022 ›› Front

Janata pays US lawyer sans BB’s approval

Dollar heist from JECI
Mehedi Hasan
20 Jan 2022 00:00:00 | Update: 20 Jan 2022 09:43:15
Janata pays US lawyer sans BB’s approval

Without Bangladesh Bank’s consent, state-run Janata Bank has paid $25,000 to a lawyer in the USA appointed by its subsidiary Janata Exchange Company Inc (JECI), New York to recover the money allegedly stolen by a hired officer.

Sushmita Tabassum, an employee of the JECI, has been allegedly embezzled the fund amounting to US$ 603,947 detected in 2020. She is now on the run.

Janata Bank, in a board meeting last year, approved to pay the amount to the lawyer a retainer fee to fight a case against Tabassum in the district court in the USA but did not take any prior approval of the BB on the payment, according to an observation report of the central bank.

“The prior approval from the BB is required in case of payment of any such fees in line with the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act. But the bank ignored the rules,” said a BB official.

On December 29, 2021, the BB wrote to the Janata Bank Managing Director and CEO Md Abdus Salam Azad to explain the violation of the rules within the seven working days.

The BB also asked him to inform the progress of the case against the suspicious thief of the missing fund.

The Business Post made several attempts to contact Azad for his comments over the telephone, but he did not receive the calls. However, Janata Bank Chairman M Mahfuzur Rahman told the Business Post, “We’ve hired a lawyer to fight against the culprit involved in the fund diversion.”