People like Tanvir of Hallmark deserve death sentence

Hallmark Group managing director Tanvir Mahmud at the court premises under police custody on 19 March, 2024Dipu Malakar

A Dhaka court on Tuesday commented that the Hallmark Group scam is an extraordinary incident in the history of the country.

In the observation of the verdict, the court also said those who undermine a country’s banking system, economy and people’s deposit deserve death sentences. However, the capital punishment in the respective law is lifetime imprisonment. Therefore, the accused have been sentenced to life in prison.

This was the court observation on the verdict that sentenced Hallmark Group’s managing director Tanvir Mahmud and eight others to life in prison. They have also been fined Tk 50 million each.

The judge of Dhaka's special judge court-1, Abul Kashem, passed the order. ACC public prosecutor Mir Ahmed Ali Salam confirmed this to Prothom Alo.

The court also sentenced eight others, including Sonali Bank former managing director Humayun Kabir, to different terms.

Those, who have been given life term, are Tanvir Mahmud, his wife and Hallmark Group chairman Jesmin Islam, Tanvir's brother-in-law Hallmark Group general manager Tushar Ahmed, and T & Brothers' director Taslim Hasan, Max Spinning Mill's owner Mir Zakaria, Paragon Group MD Saiful Islam Raza, Nakshi Knit MD Md Abdul Malek, Abdul Matin and Taslim Hasan.

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The eight other convicts are - Savar's Tetuljhora union parishad chairman Md Jamal Uddin Sarker, Sonali Bank Dhanmondi branch senior executive officer Meherunnesa Meri, Sonali Bank head office former general managers Nani Gopal Nath, and Mir Mohidur Rahman, head office former managing director Humayun Kabir, deputy managing director Mainul Haque, deputy general manager Safiz Uddin and AGM Md Kamrul Hossain Khan.

Of these eight convicts, Jamal Uddin was sentenced five years while others have been sentenced 17 years each.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed a case with Ramna police station on 4 October 2012 against Hallmark Group managing director Tanvir Mahmud and others on charges of money embezzlement through forgery.

Various allegations including misuse of power, money laundering and cheating and money embezzlement have been brought against the accused.

The accused were charged with embezzling more than Tk 5.25 billion through forgery in the case.

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According to the case documents, Hallmark embezzled more than Tk 26.82 from the Hotel Sheraton branch of the Sonali Bank in collusion with the bank officials. The ACC filed a case over the incident on 4 October in 2012.

Following the completion of the investigation in the case, a charge sheet was submitted in the court in 11 cases against 26 people including Hallmark Group chairman Jesmin Islam, managing director Tanvir Mahmud, and his brother-in-law Tushar Ahmed on 7 October 2013.

Later, Dhaka's senior special judge court framed charges against the accused on 17 February and 27 March 2016.

The cases were then transferred to Dhaka's special judge court-1 for trial. The verdict in one case has been delivered today. The remaining cases are under trial.