Bangladesh probes terror-linked sharia bankAugust 26, 2014
The government of Bangladesh is reviewing a report from Islami Bank Bangladesh, Ltd. (IBBL) on its expenditures. Authorities will review whether IBBL has accurately disclosed the organizations to which it contributes money, and perhaps whether the bank maintains any accounts for individuals listed on international blacklists.
IBBL has previously been documented to have diverted profits to militant Islamist groups as a form of corporate zakat. The bank was also cited by the U.S. Senate as one of the financial institutions with which the British bank HSBC should not have been doing business with due to terror finance concerns.
Thanks to readers Talha, Ranel, Ononto, and MFS for sending in the news. This account comes from Bangladesh 24:
Govt is investigating Islami Bank’s spending
The government is looking into where the Islami Bank spends its profit, State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal has said.
“Islami Bank already gave a report on how its profits are spent. The intelligence people have been instructed to look into whether there are any discrepancies in it,” said the minister.
He was speaking to reporters after emerging from a meeting of the ministry’s Antiterrorism Committee on Thursday.
Kamal said the government was monitoring a few other financial institutions, operated by the bank, accused of terrorist-financing.
“The key to terrorism is funds. If that can be traced then wiping out terrorism will be easier,” said the minister.
Islami Bank has been under international pressure in the last few years after a US Senate Committee report accused it of terrorist financing.
Banks like HSBC, Citi Bank NA and Bank of America have suspended transaction with it since then.
According to Bangladesh Bank officials, the bank maintained accounts of people, who were on the UN’s suspicious people’s list.
Islami Bank authorities did not disclose information of those accounts to the central bank…
The bank, widely believed to be supported by the Jamaat-e-Islami, has come under fire from pro-liberation forces for their alleged funding of Islamist groups.
The party itself is facing investigation of the International Crimes Tribunal for the crimes against humanity committed during the War of Independence.
The Board of Directors of the bank is always dominated by people linked to Jamaat-e-Islami.
According to claims of Islami Oikya Jote leaders, the incumbent Chairman Abu Naser Mohammad Abduz Zaher was a leader of Al-Badr, a vigilante group of Bengalis raised by Pakistani occupation army, in Chittagong.
Islami Bank’s former Vice-Chairman Mir Quasem Ali is a member of Jamaat central committee and now facing trial for alleged war crimes perpetrated during the 1971 Liberation War.
He is also the member (administration) of Islami Bank Foundation and a member of Ibn Sina Board of Trustee, an associate organisation of the bank.
Islami Bank’s former Chairman Shah Abdul Hannan is known to be closely linked to the party, which had opposed the nation’s independence from Pakistan in 1971.
Its Deputy Managing Director Syed Abdullah Md Saleh is the sibling of former Jamaat MP from Chouddagram, Syed Abdullah M Taher.