In a bid to retain its image as a regulator, the Bangladesh Bank (BB) has taken punitive action against its seven officials on the grounds of siphoning off money and for defaulting on loan repayment.
Of the seven corrupt officials, two have been sent on forced retirement, while another two faced demotion.
The central bank's recent disciplinary action against the four came following the allegations of taking out loans from the commercial banks showing fake approval letters and guarantors.
Similarly, the BB authorities have served show cause notice against three other officials as to why they should not be sent on forced retirement for embezzling cashes from the central banks' cash counter.
According to official rules, a central bank official has to obtain prior approval from the higher authorities if he or she wants to borrow from commercial banks.
A senior BB official, who preferred to remain anonymous, said a central bank officer cannot borrow from commercial banks without official authorisation.
Sources concerned said the "unscrupulous" officials managed fake BB approval and showed fake guarantors while obtaining commercial loans from different banks, thus flouting rules.
The gross irregularities on the part of the officials of the central bank is a stark reminder of the deep-seated corrupt practice, for which some officials faced similar action in the past.
Many say the incident would certainly deal a blow to the image of the central bank, which is considered as the watchdog of the country's banking sector.
But it remains to be seen whether the disciplinary action taken against the corrupt officials would make a difference in the affairs of the central bank.
"The cases should not be seen from an isolated angle. A group of corrupt officials, backed by a certain quarters, are on the prowl within the territory of the Bangladesh Bank. They are involved in the acts of theft, forgery and other sorts of unfair activities," a senior BB official said.
"The corrupt officials have always enjoyed immunity as they have political backing. For this reason, such unscrupulous officers escaped legal action in the past," the official said, venting his anger.
Sources said the incident came to the notice of the central bank authorities when the commercial banks resorted to "guarantors" for recovering the loans, as the borrowers defaulted on timely payments.
Later, the central bank carried out an investigation before it took a disciplinary action.
The BB sent Assistant Managers of Motijheel office Jahangir Hossain Khan and Dhononjoy Sircar on forced retirement on charges of taking loans through fake certificates.
Deputy Manager Rafiqul Islam was downgraded to Assistant Manager while Altaf Hossain Bhuiyan was downgraded to the post of Officer from the Assistant Manager for the similar allegation.
Sources said Abdul Mannan, who is stationed in the cash counter at Motijheel office, embezzled cash worth Tk 100,000 from the daily transaction.
The central bank served a notice on him asking him to explain as to why he should not be punished according to the law.
Meantime, the central bank authorities also served notices on ANM Ibrahim and KM Firoz, Assistant Managers of the Bangladesh Bank's Sadarghat branch to explain as to why they should not be sent on forced retirement for the corrupt practice.
Central bank sources said the authorities concerned took similar punitive against the personnel involved in cash embezzlement and other forms of forgery.