The Financial Express

Ex-deputy governor Sur, top central bank official come under NBR scrutiny

| Updated: February 23, 2021 15:58:54

- FE file photo - FE file photo

The Central Intelligence Cell (CIC) has asked all banks and financial institutions to furnish information about the accounts of former Bangladesh Bank (BB) deputy governor SK Sur Chowdhury, incumbent executive director Shah Alam and their spouses.

The CIC under the National Board of Revenue (NBR) sent the search orders to all the banks and FIs on Thursday, seeking information about their accounts within seven working days.

Shitangshu Kumar Sur Chowdhury and his wife Suparna Sur Chowdhury, Md Shah Alam and his two wives Shaheen Akhter Shalley and Nasreen Begum came under the CIC's scrutiny, according to the order.

SK Sur Chowdhury was also banking reforms adviser of BB. But Shah Alam is now in service at the BB.

The cell has sought information about their accounts including those of dormant accounts during the period from July 1, 2013 to date.

The CIC has sought full details of term deposits including fixed deposit receipt, savings account, current account, loan account (including copy of approval letter), foreign currency account, credit card, locker and vault, savings certificate, other savings instruments, investment scheme, deposit scheme, share account (BO account) or other types of accounts.

The cell has sought the information as per Section 113 (F) of the Income Tax Ordinance-1984, the CIC said in its letter.

The wing has sent some prescribed formats for sending the account details for furnishing a total amount of deposits, tax payments and other data to the NBR.

Talking to the FE, a senior NBR official said the move has been taken to scrutinise their tax payment status matching with the data on actual wealth.

The board will crosscheck the information as per their details furnished in the tax returns, he said.

The official also said the CIC has issued the search order following widespread allegations against the persons on involvement with irregularities and corruption done by PK Halder.

As per income tax law, all banks and FIs are bound to provide all required information of a taxpayer to the CIC, he added.

Earlier, the BB transferred Shah Alam from the Financial Institutions and Market Department following allegations of his connections with businessman PK Halder.

The BB took the move after Rashedul Haque, a close aide of Halder and also a former managing director of the International Leasing and Financial Services (ILFS), gave a confessional statement alleging Mr Alam's involvement with PK Halder's corruption.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on January 24 arrested Mr Haque on the basis of accusation of five fraud cases of the ILFS.

In the Dhaka court, Mr Haque confessed that Mr Alam and SK Sur Chowdhury were on the payroll of Halder to hide irregularities and corruption of financial institutions.

Alam joined the central bank as an assistant director in 1988.

In December 2017, Alam was promoted to the post of executive director and a few months later, he was made the head of the department.

In January, the High Court imposed travel ban on SK Sur Chowdhury along with 25 persons.

The court asked the bodies concerned of the government to take necessary steps so that the persons cannot leave the country. It also gave the ACC permission to interrogate them as per the law.

In May 1981, Mr Sur joined BB as an assistant director and served as deputy governor since 2012.

In 2018, the BB made SK Sur Chowdhury as its Banking Reform Adviser after completion of his tenure as deputy governor of the bank.

He was empowered to give advice on the formulation of reforms policies for banks and financial Institutions.

A number of government entities including ACC have been conducting several investigations on allegations against PK Halder in swindling thousands of millions of taka abroad through a number of non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs).

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