February 24, 2024, 3:20 pm

Mahabub Alam and Jannatul Islam

2023-11-23 12:27:28 BdST

Rongdhanu Group chairman takes Tk270 crore loan thru fraudulence

Rongdhanu Group Chairman Rafiqul Islam has taken a Tk270 crore loan from First Security Islami Bank (FSIB) PLC by putting up land already sold to several other parties as collateral.

An investigation has unearthed the irregularities committed by Rafiq to get loan using deed, mutation and tax documents of the sold land measuring 93.87 decimals in a residential area in the capital in June this year.

Documents showed that Rafiq kept the land worth Tk60 crore as security to Social Islami Bank PLC on 18 April 2017 to get another loan.

The fraud businessman managed to get back the documents of the mortgaged land on 29 September 2022.

Then he sold several plots (551, 552, 556, 557 and 558) measuring 27.51 decimals to a customer, Imran Karim, on 11 November last year and the rest to other clients.

However, Rafiq took a loan from FSIB by submitting the deeds of the sold land as collateral on 22 June this year in the names of his and his family members – sons Mehedi Hasan Dipu and Kawsar Ahmed Opu, and Mehedi’s wife Maliha Hossain.

He has also allegedly taken loans from other banks in different names with fake documents and asked the banks not to share any information on him with anyone.

Imran Karim’s lawyer Moloy Kumar Roy said his party bought the land in November last year and did mutation on 18 December of that year.

“We came to know on Tuesday that property and some other plots were put up as collateral at First Security Islami Bank for taking a loan. We got the number of the mortgage file. The mortgage is illegal as the first party has already sold the land. Putting up the sold land as collateral is an ultimate fraudulence,” Roy, a lawyer of the Supreme Court, said on Wednesday.

He mentioned that they will take legal action against Rongdhanu Group based on documents.

“A bank should scrutinise the documents before accepting those as security for issuing a loan. As a legal practitioner, I think there’s a nexus between bank and fraudsters to misappropriate public money,” he said.

Rongdhanu Group Chairman Rafiqul Islam deceived not only one customer but many others. However, they keep mum for their personal and institutional reputation.

This investigation has found another document of a group of buyers, led by Abul Kashem who bought plots (530, 531, 532, 533, 534 and 535) measuring 22.7 decimals of land on 8 December 2022.

Rafiq also sold different plots (482, 483, 484, 487, 488, 489) measuring 28.13 decimals on 29 September last year to the same party.

He used the deeds of the sold land for getting the loan for his business entities.

Another buyer, Tamanna Sultana, bought plots (507, 508, 511 and 512) measuring 15.53 decimals from Rongdhanu Group on 23 February last year. But, Rafiq and his family members continued their fraudulence by keeping the land deed with the bank as collateral for the same loan.

As part of the investigation, this two correspondents made a field visit to the mentioned plots on Wednesday but did not find any signboard of bank declaring those as mortgaged ones.

As per the rules, a bank should hang a signboard at the assets against any loan.

Suvastu Properties began construction of a 14-storey building on the land of Tamanna Islam while Kashem’s Dreamway Holdings also hanged a signboard in their plots. Imran Karim made a boundary wall on the land bought from Rafiq.

Surprisingly, there is no signboard of bank in the mentioned plots as legal practitioners see a nexus of bankers and businessmen in the case of Rongdhanu Group.

Regarding the issue, several attempt was made to communicate with Rongdhanu Group Chairman Rafiqul Islam but his mobile phone was found switched off.

To protect customers from fraudulence, Bashundhara Housing introduced the provision of mandatorily taking no objection certificate (NOC) from the real estate company in case keeping property as mortgage to bank or selling plots to the third party.

East West Property Development (EWPD) also notified the top management of commercial banks of the issue.

After repeated attempts, FSIB Managing Director Syed Mohammad Waseque Ali could not be reached on his mobile phone for his comments on taking loan after putting up fake documents by the Rondhanu Group chairman.

“We can’t comment without going through details. It’ll be possible to inform you later after reviewing the documents,” an official of FSIB managing director’s office said over phone later.

FSIB Bashundhara Branch Manager Imtiaz Hassan said the bank issued the loan following the regulatory compliance.

“Before issuing the loan, we checked all the documents of the property from the land office concerned. And we found that Rafiqul Islam was the last owner of the land. Our legal team investigated a mortgaged asset before disbursing any loan,” he said.

The banker said he was unaware of the NOC issue and denied the allegation of nexus between bankers and businesses to allow fake documents.

Operations Manager Fakhrul Islam, who has been working here for long, said, “We checked the documents with the land office and found Rafiqul Islam as the owner. If we get any complaint, we’ll look into the matter again and our legal team will go through this,” he said.

Regarding hanging signboard, the banker claimed that they did so but someone might have broken it.

However, investigation found different scenario at the assistant commissioner (Land) office of the Gulshan circle.

An employee concerned checked the volume and found that the land was sold six months before Rafiq took the loan.

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