Islami Bank

 

Has a portion of the Saradha deposits found its way to the Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd?

The bank, which is currently being probed by the government of Bangladesh for suspected funding of jihad, is alleged to be also involved in money laundering.

Intelligence reports say that that West Bengal’s Saradha scam funds have found their way to outfits such as the Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). investigators in India are trying to find out if these were routed through the Islami Bank.

"There are indications that some top officials of the Islami Bank have links with people in Kolkata who have subsequent links with the Saradha scam. The name of this bank came up while trying to trace the money trail. There are some financial institutions operated by this bank that are also being probed by the home ministry in Bangladesh for funding in terror activities. The government of Bangladesh had sought a report from the Islami Bank on how it disbursed funds," a source in the Enforcement Directorate said.

According to sources in the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the Islami Bank was hauled up in the past for disbursing funds to terror outfits.

It is also suspected that the bank has, within its customer base, individuals whose names feature in international blacklists. Funds may have been disbursed to individuals and suspect organizations in the form of "corporate zakaat". Zakaat is something that wealthy Muslims pay to those not so well-off.

Kunal Ghosh

Indian investigators may request Bangladesh to find out whether the Islami Bank invested money in the Gulf on behalf of a customer. "The key to terrorism is funds. The role of financial institutions, such as the the Islami Bank, was suspect for quite some time now. The global intelligence fraternity has been trying to trace the source of money that flows into the hands of terrorists. Even a US senate committee has accused the Islami Bank of funding terror outfits.

The bank is allegedly backed by the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh which has established links to the JMB. It has been alleged that the present chairman was once a leader of Al-Badr and the former vice-chairman is being tried for his alleged involvement in war crimes in Bangladesh," a RAW source claimed.

Sleuths are also trying to find out whether the JMB had anything to do with Saradha's decision to invest money in the Bangladesh bank. While this may have provided an option to the Ponzi firm to send some of its ill-gotten gains outside the country, the JMB may have been given a free run in Bengal.