• The company has defaulted on Tk52cr loans taken from AB Bank and Bank Asia
• One Sikandar Mia, his wife, his brother-in-law and brother-in-law's wife are managing partners of the company
• AB Bank is owed Tk41.69cr by the company
• Bank Asia is owed Tk10cr by the company
• AB Bank has filed five cases, including four check dishonour cases under the NI Act and one under Money Loan Court Act, against the company
• Bank Asia also contemplates moving the court on loan recovery
Two banks are in trouble trying to recover loans extended to Samia Ship Recycling, a ship-breaking company based in Chattogram.
The company, owned by one Sikandar Mia, has defaulted on Tk52 crore loans taken from AB Bank and Bank Asia.
Officials of the banks are now apprehensive about recovering the loans as sufficient assets were not mortgaged against the loans.
Sources at the banks said Sikandar Mia is a resident of Shitalpur in Sitakunda upazila in Chattogram. For a long time, he has been involved in the ship breaking sector, buying scraps, plates and other goods of broken ships at auction and selling the goods. In 2010, he started a scrap ship importing business through establishing Samia Ship Recycling Industries. He took in his brother-in-law Mohammad Manzur Alam, a resident of North Kattoli area in the port city, as his partner.
From 2015, Samia Ship Recycling started taking loans from AB Bank's Pahartali branch to import scrap ships. The bank provided the loan on the condition that he would repay it after selling imported ships as scrap. At the beginning, he used to repay the loan, but he did not repay the loan after importing scrap ships in 2016.
The bank sent letters to the owners of Samia Ship Recycling at different times, asking them to repay the loan, but in vain. The owners of the organisation did not pay back the loan as per terms of the LC.
On 22 September, 2019, AB Bank served a legal notice on the owners of the company over their not repaying the loan despite repeated reminders. Due to the non-repayment of the loan, the bank decided to auction off 22 Shatak of the mortgaged property of the company as per Section 12 (3) of the Money Loan Court Act 2003. But no bidder took part in the auction.
On 23 March last, the bank filed a case against the owners of the company with Chattogram Money Loan Court. According to the case statement, AB Bank is owed Tk41.69 crore by the company. Samia Ship Recycling's Managing Partner Sikandar Mia, partner Mohammad Manzoor Alam, Md Sikandar's wife Golzar Begum and Manzur Alam's wife Farzana Nur have been named as defendants in the case.
HM Ali Morshed Khan, vice-president and relationship manager of AB Bank's Pahartali Branch, said, "Samia Ship Recycling Industries got the loan easily, but the company did not repay the loan. We have already filed four check dishonor cases under the NI Act against the company. Another case has also been filed with the Money Loan Court to recover the loan. Hopefully, we will be able to recover the loan through a court verdict."
Sources said the company used to take loans from Bhatiari Branch of Bank Asia since the inception of its business in 2010. Sikandar Mia had a good transaction record with the bank from 2010 to 2016. Later, the company took the loan but did not repay it properly. At present, the company owes about Tk10 crore to Bank Asia, which has already been classified.
AKM Saiful Islam Chowdhury, executive vice-president and zonal head (Chattogram) of Bank Asia, said the loan has already been classified as it has not been repaid despite repeated efforts.
"However, we are still trying to recover the loan. If we fail to recover the loan even after this last attempt, we also will move the court."
Samia Ship Recycling's owner Sikandar Mia could not be reached for his comments despite repeated attempts over the phone as he did not receive the calls. He did not even respond to the text messages sent to his personal mobile number.