Posts Tagged ‘Islami Bank Bangladesh’

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Bangladesh targets alleged Jamaat fronts

February 1, 2016

Businesses and nonprofit groups in Bangladesh are being scrutinized for their alleged connections to the dangerous Islamist movement Jamaat-e-Islami.  When asked by the Dhaka Tribune how the government of Bangladesh could determine whether or not such entities are connected to Jamaat, Finance Minister AMA Muhith rightly said, “Firstly, we will check the background of the members of board of directors in the institutions. Secondly, we will identify the source of funds of those firms.”

The Dhaka Tribune article included a graphic of “top firms linked to Jamaat men.”  However, please note that the relationship between these firms and Jamaat-e-Islami cannot be confirmed by Money Jihad at this time:

  • Islami Bank Foundation*
  • Ibn Sina Trust
  • Fouad Al-Khateeb Charity Foundation
  • Rabita al-Alam al-Islami
  • Agro Industrial Trust
  • Daily Sangram
  • Daily Naya Diganta
  • Manarat Interational University
  • International Islamic University Chittagong
  • Darul Ihsan University
  • Far East Ilsami Life Insurance Company Ltd
  • Takaful Islami Insurance Ltd
  • Keari Limited
  • Coral Reef Properties Ltd
  • Education Aid
  • Panjeri Publications
  • Allama Iqbal Sangsad
  • Maududi Research Sangsad
  • Al-Mutada Development Society
  • Center for Strategy & Peace Studies

* The Islami Bank Foundation is the “charitable” arm of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited, the notorious terror-linked sharia bank.
Rabita al-Alam al-Islami is the Saudi-funded Bangladeshi branch of the Muslim World League.

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Sharia banker unseated for “militant financing”

January 25, 2016

A senior official of an Islamic bank in Bangladesh has been removed from his position by the country’s central bank over his support for Islamic militancy. The Dhaka Tribune reports that Nurul Islam, a deputy managing director of Islami Bank Bangladesh, is an ex-convict. Bangladesh’s finance ministry suspects Nurul Islam of “involvement in militant financing” and involvement “with the recent violence carried out by Jamaat-Shibir,” a radical Islamist student group. This development is further evidence of the connection between sharia finance and the funding of terrorism.  Prior Money Jihad coverage of the dangerous Islami Bank Bangladesh and its leadership can be found here.

Islami Bank DMD removed for having Jamaat ties

The central bank has removed Deputy Managing Director of Islami Bank Nurul Islam for his alleged involvement with Jamaat-e-Islami, the party which opposed the birth of Bangladesh in 1971.

Bangladesh Bank issued a letter in this regard yesterday. The decision came after the Finance Ministry asked the central bank governor to take action against the financial organisations linked to Jamaat.

A top officer of the central bank confirmed to the Dhaka Tribune that Nurul Islam had been removed on the ground that he was a convict and has cases against him.

The central bank issued the letter yesterday saying that a convict cannot hold such a high position. Moreover, the cases against him are yet to be disposed of.

The letter, however, did not mention about the issue of his Jamaat connection.

Bangladesh Bank last month detected 27 suspected terror financial transactions made by Islami Bank and put it under the scanner. Earlier, the bank was fined four times under the Anti-Money Laundering Act for militant financing.

Last year, the National Committee on Militancy Resistance and Prevention asked the central bank to ensure submission of the reports to the ministry on the expenditures of the Islamic banks and insurance companies.

Apart from the Finance Ministry, the Home Ministry too sent a letter to the central bank asking them to take action against Nurul Islam for his alleged involvement in militant financing. The ministry said they had found involvement of the banker with the recent violence carried out by Jamaat-Shibir.

The central bank launched an inquiry against the accused following the Home Ministry’s instructions. The inspection team was led by Dipankar Bhattacharya, a deputy general manager of the central bank’s Bank Inspection Department 1.

The Home Ministry was concerned about Nurul Islam as he had been chosen for the managing director post to replace the existing MD, Mohammad Abdul Mannan, by the board of Islami Bank.

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War criminal turned sharia banker sentenced to death by hanging

November 3, 2014

A former director of the largest sharia bank in Bangladesh has been sentenced to death for war crimes. Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal announced yesterday verdicts of Mir Quasem Ali’s guilt on eight counts of abduction, confinement, and torture; and one count of murder. Ali was found not guilty on four related counts. For the murder charge Ali was sentenced to death by hanging.

In addition to being a co-founder and a former director of the sharia financial house Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd. (IBBL), Ali has reportedly maintained over 100,000 shares worth over 40,000 USD in IBBL. Ali has worn several hats while financing Islamist militants in Bangladesh over the last several decades, including a stint as director of the Bangladeshi branch of the Saudi-sponsored Muslim World League “charitable” foundation that raises money for Islamist fighters. He has also played an instrumental role in financing the Jamaat-e-Islami political party. IBBL itself has been implicated in several terrorist finance schemes and is currently under audit by the government of Bangladesh.

The war crimes charges date back to November and December of 1971 when, as the president the Chittagong chapter of the Islami Chhatra Sangha (ICS), the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami militia, and as a member of the Al-Badr death squads, Ali directed torture sessions and at least one murder of pro-independence East Pakistanis (Bangladeshis) at Al-Badr’s rooms in the Dalim Hotel. Interrogations directed by Ali were designed to elicit the whereabouts of civilians and fighters who were sympathetic to the cause of independence.

Findings from the trial include:

  • When a thirsty detainee asked for water during his torture session, Mir Quasem Ali instructed his men to “give him urine to drink.” Referring to the treatment against another victim, Ali said to his men, “seeing him [Shafiul Alam Chowdhury] the detainees here will have some lesson.”
  • On another occasion at the hotel, Ali said of a tortured boy: “he is not dead yet, throw him in [the room] so that the captives understand the consequence of not telling the truth.”
  • Survivor Sanaulla Chowdhury testified that Ali was present during several torture sessions and personally interrogated Chowdhury. Defense lawyers did not dispute Chowdhury’s testimony.
  • Sayed Md. Sarwaruddin testified that Ali and his accomplices “grilled” him for information about freedom fighters and beat him up on explicit orders from Ali after Sarwaruddin refused to answer their questions. Sarwaruddin said he also heard Al-Badr members refer to Ali as “Commander” and “Khan Saheb” [leader/master].
  • Torture tactics included beating detainees with electric wires and hanging them upside down.
  • Iskandar Alam Chowdhury testified that Ali told him “that he would be killed if he did not make disclosure about the freedom fighters,” although defense lawyers argued that Chowdhury had changed his story from earlier testimony.
  • Another witness whose name was transliterated in court documents as “Md. Salauddin @ Chuttu Mia” said that “Mir Quasem Ali threatened to kill and dump him in the river Kornofuli.”
  • Several detainees at Dalim Hotel were shot and dumped into the murky waters of the Karnaphuli including Tuntu Sen and Ranjit Das. Facilitating the murder of teenage detainee Jasim Uddin was ultimately what earned Ali his death sentence.
  • Sunil Kantia Bardhan said that he and five others confined to a room were told they would all be killed if they refused to talk, but the war crimes tribunal did not find his narrative to be credible.
  • Nasiruddin Chowdhury described being abducted and brought to Dalim Hotel where he was beaten by Al-Badr members. When they failed to get information from him, Ali entered the room and asked them why they couldn’t extract information from him, and ordered them to beat him more. They began beating him “indiscriminately with stick, iron rod, electric wire.” Then Ali personally asked, “who are your co-freedom fighters? Where are their shelters and arms?” Still getting no answers, they beat him again till he bled.

Most of the evidence against Ali consisted of eye witness testimony of torture survivors, but in some cases evidence came from second-hand accounts from family members of the deceased, as well as several cases from passages of books written by the victims following Bangladesh’s independence. The evidence appears to be quite consistent in indicating that Ali was in a leadership position over the Al-Badr “muscle” men. The testimony of survivors often depicts Ali giving instructions to Al-Badr members and of impasses at Dalim Hotel being escalated to Ali’s attention.

Ali eventually left the torture rooms of the Dalim Hotel for the board rooms of sharia banking in Bangladesh with Saudi backing.  With 40 years having passed, Ali’s lawyers argued that too much time had elapsed since the alleged crimes for Ali to receive a fair trial.  They also claimed that Ali wasn’t in Chittagong for at least some part of the time period in question, that alleged war criminals received amnesty from prosecution under a 1973 agreement, and that Ali did not have a formal leadership position over the Al-Badr members at Dalim Hotel. The tribunal was not persuaded by those arguments and laid out a 351-page ruling explaining their judgments in detail.

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Sharia bank paying terrorists’ legal fees

November 2, 2014

Legal defense fees for accused terrorists and war criminals are being paid for by the biggest sharia-compliant bank in Bangladesh. According to Khabar South Asia, a news service managed by the U.S. Pacific Command, “corporate social responsibility” funds from Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd. (IBBL) are reportedly being used to pay the bills to suspects’ lawyers. (Hat tip to Cyber Group BD for sending in a link.)

Trials in Bangladesh have been underway for several years to seek justice for war crimes committed by Pakistan-backed Islamists against Bangladeshis in the 1970s. The Bangladesh home ministry has previously revealed that 8 percent of IBBL’s profits are diverted toward militant Islamists as a form of corporate zakat. IBBL officials include suspected war criminals, an attempted cop killer, and a jihad tax advocate, among other troublemakers. IBBL was recently caught distributing counterfeit currency to account holders.

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Sharia bank caught circulating counterfeits

October 5, 2014

Islami Bank Bangladesh, Ltd. (IBBL) has distributed counterfeit currency to a garment manufacturer that made a withdrawal to pay its employees’ wages, according to local police.

IBBL, the biggest sharia-compliant bank in Bangladesh, has previously been implicated by the government for diverting profits to terrorist groups as a form of corporate zakat, and is currently under a national investigation for its expenditures. The counterfeit scheme raises the possibility of wider fraudulent activities by IBBL that even previously suspected.

From the Dhaka Tribune on Sep. 14 (h/t Munazir):

Fake notes distributed by Islami Bank

The incident is brewing anger and distrust among that bank’s subscribers

Garments company Lumbini Ltd withdrew Tk50 crores to pay its employee-salary from Bandarban Islami Bank on Thursday September 11 in which thousands of bank notes were found to be fakes.

The company paid employee salary to its 24 sections, out of which the Finishing Section received 500k sixty three thousand where the most number of notes were found to be fakes.

On Saturday, after joining work, the employees complained about the fake bank notes which prompted the company to recover 1,000 fake notes from its 26 employees. Later, those 26 employees were repaid with genuine notes.

The latest news is that police is seizing all the paid salary. They believe, more fakes may be recovered once the seizing process is completed. Police has tightened security around the garments.

The incident is brewing anger and distrust among that bank’s subscribers.

Islami Bank Bandarban branch Manager Nurul Hossain Kauser has denied any allegation of distributing fake bank notes. Among Bandarban Hill Tracts’ 7 upazillas,  there is only one of Islami Bank branch at Bandarban town’s Masjid building.

Many other Islami Bank subscribers are coming out saying they also received fake notes from the bank before…

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Bangladesh probes terror-linked sharia bank

August 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.

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Sharia bank board joined at Jamaat’s hip

May 13, 2014

The extensive ties between the sharia bank Islami Bank Bangladesh, Limited (IBBL), and militant movements, extremist political parties, and terrorist financing, have come into sharper focus over the last few weeks. Consider:

  • The current chairman of IBBL’s board, Abu Nasser Muhammad Abduz Zaher, is alleged to have been a leader member of the Al-Badr militia, which committed war crimes in an attempt to prevent Bangladesh from gaining independence from Pakistan in the 1970s.
  • IBBL’s former director and vice chairman, Mir Quasem Ali, is in jail awaiting trial for war crimes.
  • Shah Abdul Hannan, variously described as a former chairman or director of IBBL, is also close to Jamaat-e-Islami, which opposed Bangladesh’s independence.
  • Former deputy director Syed Abdullah Md Saleh is the brother of a former Jamaat member of parliament.
  • IBBL sharia board member Abu Bakr Rafique was implicated in a terrorist attack against police officers.
  • Bangladesh’s home ministry revealed in 2011 that 8 percent of IBBL’s profits are diverted as zakat to terrorist groups.

Thanks to Munazir for sending in related news.