The National Board of Revenue (NBR) on Wednesday asked banks to freeze accounts of former deputy governor of the Bangladesh Bank SK Sur Chowdhury and his wife Suparna Sur Chowdhury.
NBR's Central Intelligence Cell sent a letter to the managing directors and chief executive officers (CEOs) of banks, asking them to immediately freeze the withdrawal and transfer of money from all accounts maintained by the couple.
The revenue board on an urgent basis sought a compliance report from banks with the latest status of the duo's bank accounts.
Officials at NBR said the move is part of an investigation into irregularities at the Bangladesh Industrial Finance Company Ltd and several other non-bank financial institutions.
NBR's Central Intelligence Cell had earlier issued another letter to banks, calling for information about bank accounts maintained by Sur Chowdhury and his wife.
In March this year, the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) also asked for information about the bank accounts of the former deputy governor of the central bank.
Earlier in February, the Bangladesh Bank formed a fact-finding committee headed by Deputy Governor AKM Sajedur Rahman Khan.
The committee has recently quizzed SK Sur Chowdhury as part of its investigation into irregularities in the Bangladesh Industrial Finance Company and other financial institutions.
The inquiry committee also quizzed former and current officials of the central bank and former and current chairmen, managing directors and directors of various financial institutions.
The probe report on a financial institution has already been finalised but yet to be submitted.
Following court observations, the Bangladesh Bank on 17 February formed the committee to determine the role of those involved in the financial irregularities of Bangladesh Industrial Finance Company over the issue of Prashanta Kumar, who is better known as PK Halder.
Alongside the central bank officials, a former judge and a bureaucrat are the members of the committee, which is investigating irregularities in other financial institutions too.
Sur Chowdhury and central bank's former executive director Shah Alam were accused of bribery in a statement given to the court by Rashidul Islam, former managing director of PK Halder-controlled International Leasing.
Chowdhury and Alam are accused of assisting fugitive PK Halder in misappropriating and laundering around Tk5,500 crore from at least five financial institutions in the country, including People's Leasing and International Leasing.
PK Halder's associate and former managing director of International Leasing Rashedul Huq in his deposition given in court said the inspection team of the central bank suppressed the information of laundering this money in exchange for large sums of bribes.
He alleged that Chowdhury and Alam, who were in charge of private-sector financial institutions, assisted in these irregularities in return for financial benefits along with a few more central bank officials.
There are currently 35 financial institutions in the country. At least 10 of them are in grave conditions. Among these International Leasing, People's Leasing, FAS Finance and Bangladesh Industrial Finance Company (BIFC) were victims of PK Halder's scams.