A three-member probe committee of Bangladesh Samabaya Bank Limited has found allegations of bank loan default against over thirty farmers in Pabna to be true.

The probe body also recommended the bank authorities to continue the legal battle against the farmers until they repay the money with interest.

The probe committee submitted its report with these findings and recommendations to the bank high-ups on December 14, said concerned officials.

Forty farmers from Bharoimari village in Pabna’s Ishwardi upazila jointly took a loan of Tk 16 lakh from the local branch of the bank in 2016 under an organisation named “Bharoimari Uttopara Vegetable Farmers’ Cooperative Association Limited”.

Each of the farmers were supposed to get Tk 40,000 and the bank issued separate cheques for each of them.

Talking to The Daily Sar, some borrowers said they didn’t get the cheques, rather the bank officials and the association authorities jointly prepared a list, took the farmers’ signatures, and handed over the money.

Some farmers alleged that they were given Tk 20,000 to 30,000 each but were forced to sign documents stating that they received Tk 40,000 each.

Later in 2021, the bank filed a case against 37 farmers on loan default charges and a court in Pabna issued arrest warrants against them.

Some farmers alleged that they were made accused in the case, despite repaying the loans with interest.

On November 24, 12 farmers of Bharoimari village were arrested on loan default charges while the rest 25 went into hiding. The arrests sparked widespread criticism.

Three days later, the 12 were released on bail.

The bank authorities later formed a probe body to investigate the incident.

“We have scrutinised all the official documents related to the issue. We have found that each of the 40 farmers took Tk 40,000 after giving their signatures on official documents. We have found no irregularity or fraudulence in disbursement of the money,” Md Ahsanul Gani, head of the probe body said.

“Of the farmers, three paid the loan with interest. Rest of the farmers partially repaid the loans. As such, 37 farmers were made accused in the case,” said Gani, also deputy general manager of Bangladesh Samabaya Bank Limited.

“Some of the farmers claimed that they repaid the loan. But we did not find any document in favour of their claim. So, we are considering the farmers’ claims are not true. We did not find any official fault in filing the case against the farmer,” he added.

“On behalf of the probe body, we have recommended to withdraw the case only after realising defaulted loans,” said Gani.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.