CEOs of nine banks asked to transfer officials over currency irregularities

Banking

TBS Report
09 February, 2024, 10:05 pm
Last modified: 10 February, 2024, 04:22 pm
Bangladeshi expatriate workers and travelers convert the foreign currencies they carry while returning home into taka from bank booths and money exchangers at the airport.

The Bangladesh Bank has ordered top executives of nine commercial banks to transfer the officials, who were allegedly involved in foreign currency exchange irregularities at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. 

In a meeting on Thursday, Deputy Governor Kazi Sayedur Rahman warned the CEOs that such incidents must not repeat and asked them to step up oversight and security at their airport booths. 

Bangladeshi expatriate workers and travelers convert the foreign currencies they carry while returning home into taka from bank booths and money exchangers at the airport.

As per rules, foreign currency encashment vouchers are payable to the customers. But, some bank officials and money exchangers were found to have exchanged foreign currencies directly without issuing any vouchers or with fake vouchers, which is considered money laundering.

A senior official of the Bangladesh Bank said the banks include state-run Sonali, Janata, Agrani and Probashi Kallyan along with five private banks - Pubali, Jamuna, City, Mutual Trust and Standard. 
However, a City Bank official said told TBS that the private bank does not have any booth at airport which handles dollars trading.

"We closed ours back in 2000. We have a special booth at airport customs building which facilitates taka payments of taxes by freight forwarders and C&F agents," the officials said on condition of anonymity.

In response to a formal complaint, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) found the allegation true after its team raided the Shahjalal airport and investigated it on Monday. 

ACC officials said the foreign currency that comes through Shahjalal Airport is supposed to be deposited in the country's reserves through the banking channel. 

But some unscrupulous officials are buying dollars and selling them in the open market without showing them in the banking channel. Sometimes, the currencies are smuggled abroad.

The in-bound passengers more frequently exchange US dollar, euro, riyal, ringgits, pounds and dinars at the airport, according to the ACC officials. 

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