A Chattogram court has issued arrest warrants for five owners of the Messrs Elias Brothers (MEB) Group for embezzling Tk85.78 crore from Southeast Bank Limited.
Chattogram Money Loan Court Magistrate Mujahidur Rahman issued the order on Wednesday, instructing the local police station to arrest the accused and produce them in court.
The warranted persons are: MEB Group managing director Mohammad Shamsul Alam, MEB chairman Nurul Absar, director Mohammad Nurul Alam, director Kamrun Nahar Begum, wife of Shamsul Alam, and director Tahmina Begum, wife of Nurul Absar.
Court sources said the MEB Group took out Tk74.80 crore in loans from Southeast Bank but did not repay the loan despite several notices issued by the bank authorities.
Later in 2012, the bank authorities moved to the Chattogram Money Loan Court seeking loan recovery from the MEB Group.
The Money Loan Court gave an order in favour of the bank.
In its order, the court asked the MEB owners to pay Tk85.78 crore to the bank, with an additional Tk10.58 crore in interest, legal costs and other charges during the trial period.
In 2013, the bank authorities filed a case seeking a decree against the accused, but the accused did not repay the loan even after the court order.
Under these circumstances, on 17 June this year, the bank authorities applied to the court to issue arrest warrants for the five accused.
Following this appeal, the court issued arrest warrants against the accused.
M/S Elias Brothers of the MEB Group first came into business with consumer goods. The group then led the country's consumer goods business before and after independence.
This eminent industrial group of Chattogram now has a debt burden of thousands of crores of taka from a dozen banks. Almost all of its loans are now in default. This traditional Chattogram business conglomerate tops the list of loan defaulters among importers of consumer goods.
The group gradually fell behind in competition due to uncontrolled investment in the consumer goods business and family feuds.