The High Court (HC) on Tuesday ordered the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to complete the probe into the loan scam cases of Basic Bank in the next three months, reports news agency UNB.

HC bench of justice Md. Nazrul Islam Talukder and justice Khizir Hayat passed the order dismissing the rule regarding the bail of Mohammad Ali, former manager of Basic Bank’s Shantinagar branch, in three cases.

The High Court also said that it is a failure for the Anti-Corruption Commission not to complete the investigation in the case within the stipulated time.

The High Court in its order further said that many evidences could be damaged if the investigation is not completed on time. There are instances of resignations in many countries if the probe agencies cannot complete investigations within the stipulated time. There are many countries where the loan defaulters cannot use credit cards and cannot avail benefits in buying plane tickets for going abroad. They cannot even be appointed as chief executives.

Mentioning that corruption and money laundering are serious crimes that affect the economy of the country, the High Court also said tougher actions have to be taken against the people involved with corruption and money laundering.

HC also directed to take action against the ACC according to the law if the probe is not completed within this time frame.

The HC also asked for the probe report of these cases filed seven years ago to the court concerned within the next three months. An affidavit must also be filed in the High Court after submitting the report.

Mohammad Ali was made the accused in 12 cases out of 56 cases of Basic Bank loan scam. ACC arrested him on 9 June in 2019.

On 20 April this year, the High Court issued a rule on hearing of his bail plea filed in three cases at Paltan police station over embezzling Tk 1.78 billion.

Following the rule, a hearing was held in the HC on 8 November and asked for updated information on the Basic Bank loan scam.

According to the ACC report, about 56 cases over embezzlement of around Tk 25.90 billion from different branches of the bank have been filed so far. But the probe of the 56 cases over the Basic Bank loan scam has not been completed yet.

One of the reasons why the probe is taking so long is that the embezzled money has been fully withdrawn in cash to conceal the location of the money, ACC said in their report.

Besides, identifying important witnesses in the case and taking their statements (under Section 161) has become difficult.