The Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL) has officially denied its involvement in financing terrorist outfits in the country.
"We want to state clearly that the IBBL doesn't support terrorist activities, not to speak of its involvement in the same. Nor does it operate as the source of terror funding or financing the terrorists," the bank said in a press statement, Saturday.
As a scheduled bank, the IBBL operates its activities by complying with the rules and regulations of the Bangladesh Bank, the statement, signed by Senior Vice President Ataur Rahman, added.
About a cheque book of a client of the IBBL that was found at 'Surayadighal Bari', the hideout of JMB leader Shaekh Abdur Rahman, the bank issued an explanation to dispel any misgiving among the people.
"The fact is one Saidur Rahman opened an account abiding by all banking procedures at Laldighirpar Branch of the IBBL in February 27, 1999. Abu Walid Chowdhury, the then Assistant Officer of the Branch (presently Manager of Biswanath), signed the account opening form as introducer of that account," it said.
Currently, there is no transaction through his account, the statement added.
"The account was reactivated on the basis of a written application by Saidur Rahman. A total amount of Tk 0.415 million (4.15 lacks) was transferred to the account with eight different telegraphic transfers (TT) from Gazipur and Saver Branches of the bank," the statement noted.
The statement further claimed that this transaction could not be suspected during normal banking transactions.
"After getting the cheque book of the client from the hideout of Shaekh Abdur Rahman, the bank immediately sent audit and inspection teams to the said branches and found lapses on issuing TT. This was intimated to the Bangladesh Bank (BB) immediately and administrative action was taken against the related officials," it added.
The IBBL issued the press statement following the show-cause notice, served upon it by the BB last Tuesday.
The central bank issued the notice on the basis of the report of its probe teams that submitted to the BB governor earlier for taking necessary actions.
The BB probe teams found that the sender mentioned an account maintained with the Islami Bank branch and a fake account holder's name in the case of each transfer. But, in all the eight instances, the bank officials did not apply the standard procedures of verifying the sender's name and other information provided, sources in the central bank said.
Under the existing Anti-Money Laundering Act, the banks are required to inform Anti-Money Laundering Department of the central bank instantly if they detect any suspicious transaction.
The BB is empowered to take the next course of action in line with the existing Anti-Money Laundering Act after receiving the reply from the bank within the stipulated time.
Under the existing provisions, the central bank can slap penalty of Tk 10,000 to Tk 100,000 if the banks fail to maintain the rules and regulations relating to submission of the suspicious transactions reports (STRs).