All bank accounts of SM Amjad Hossain, chairman of South Bangla Agriculture and Commerce Bank Limited (SBAC), his wife Sufia Amjad and daughter Tazri Amjad have been frozen on money laundering charges.
According to central bank sources, the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) has recently directed the banks to freeze the accounts. As a result, they can no longer withdraw money from their accounts.
The BFIU's letter reads that the accounts were suspended for 30 days under the Money Laundering Prevention Act. At the same time, the banks have to inform within three days how much money is deposited in their accounts.
Meanwhile, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has recently banned the sale and transfer of shares in the names of Amjad Hossain, his wife and daughter, over an allegation that he had tried to smuggle the money outside the country by selling the shares.
Besides, the ACC has information that he has taken loans on a false identity.
In the first term of the present government in 2013, SBAC was approved as a fourth-generation bank. Some pro-government businessmen hold the position of its board of directors but Amzad Hossain has most of the ownership.
He is the leader of Khulna-based Lockpur Group which is mainly involved in the export of frozen shrimp and fish.
Although it started its journey as a fourth-generation bank, the bank was burdened with bad debts. Its defaulted loans increased more than 10 times in three years to Tk345 crore by the end of 2020. Of this, Tk239 crore is bad debt, which is about 70% of the total defaulters.