The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has launched an investigation into allegations of embezzlement and money laundering against Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) chairman M Khairul Hossain.
A letter signed by ACC director (money laundering) Golam Shahriar Chowdhury appointed assistant director Mamunur Rashid Chowdhury as the investigating officer of the case. He has been asked to submit a report after a ‘quick and secret’ investigation.
None of the ACC officials spoke to the reporter about the investigation. The BSEC chairman was also not reachable for comment.
ACC sources said the decision of conducting the probe against the BSEC chairman was taken on 7 August.
The ACC has never conducted an investigation on allegation of embezzlement and money laundering against any sitting BSEC chairman.
Share market experts, however, said it is morally not right for a person to stay on when an investigation is going on.
Speaking to Prothom Alo, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) executive director Iftekharuzzaman said no one is guilty till the allegations are proved.
However, Iftekharuzzaman said Khairul Hossain should resign from his post as he lost moral ground to be in the position. It is important that he resigns for the sake of a proper investigation.
He can be reinstated if allegations are not proved in the investigation, Iftekharuzzaman added.
The allegations against Khairul Hossain are embezzlement and money laundering through the process of low quality initial public offering (IPO) approval.
Khairul Hossain joined the BSEC as its chairman after the stock market collapse in 2010. After completion of his first three-year tenure, the government appointed him chairman of the commission for the second tenure for four years as per Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (Amendment) Act, 2012.
Later, the government extended his tenure by two more years.
Khairul was the chairman of Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB) before being appointed the BSEC chairman.
According to Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) website, a total of 84 companies were listed with the DSE following the appointment of the current chairman.
Among the companies, most were of low quality and got closed within a few years of enlistment. The companies are still in trade despite being closed. Prices of shares of nine of the companies even went below their face value.