Immigration police at Shahjalal International Airport arrested Banco Securities Chairman Abdul Muhit on Tuesday morning as the businessman attempted to leave the country breaching a travel ban.
Rezaul Karim, a spokesperson for the Bangladesh Security and Exchange Commission (BSEC), confirmed the matter to The Business Standard.
The 66-year-old, who has both the Bangladeshi and British passports, was trying to board a Turkish Airlines flight when he was arrested, Karim said.
Followed by a request from BSEC, authorities imposed a travel ban against Muhit and five other directors of his firm two weeks ago after they were accused of embezzling client funds.
Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) filed a general diary against the directors of Banco Securities earlier this month after the prime bourse found out Tk66.6 crore of the brokerage firm's clients' fund was missing from its consolidated customer account.
Meanwhile, based on DSE's complaint, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Tuesday morning filed an anti-corruption case accusing the six directors of fund embezzlement.
The other directors accused in the case are Shafiul Azam, Waliul Hasan Chowdhury, Nurul Ishan Sadat, A Munim Chowdhury, and Jamil Ahmed Chowdhury.
After receiving several client complaints about anomalies, a DSE team on 6 June found a Tk66.59 crore shortfall in the consolidated customer account of the brokerage firm.
The DSE in its complaint accused the company and its six directors of breaching the trust of clients and embezzling their money.
Brokerage firms have to maintain consolidated customer accounts. Any shortfall there indicates that clients' money has been diverted somewhere else, which is a financial crime.
Soon after, the bourse stopped the trading operations of Banco Securities and later offered its clients the opportunity to switch to other brokers.
Besides, the securities regulator has written to the authorities concerned, asking them not to allow the directors to leave Bangladesh.
Embezzlement of client money by stockbrokers has come down in recent times following strict measures by security regulators.
In the middle of last year, Md Shahid Ullah and his wife Nipa Sultana, owners of Crest Securities Limited, were arrested for going into hiding after embezzling nearly Tk50 crore from clients.
Mediated by a DSE team, some of those clients have been getting their money back, but many are waiting for complete recovery.