Daily The Business

Allied Bank ‘exploited’ officials resort to parallel banking

Mega scam of over Rs 280 million unearthed

By M Jahangir Hayat

LAHORE: A mega scam of over Rs 280 million has surfaced in Allied Bank Limited (ABL) as a branch manager and operation manger of Shahdara and Kala Khatai branches fled away with the money from Pakistan by way of maintaining parallel banking and other illegal actions, Daily The Business has learnt.
The sources disclosed that branch manager of Shahdara Branch Shahid Maqbool Mirza and manager, Zahid Maqbool Mirza of Kala Khatai Branch, the real brothers, operated and succeeded in transferring the money to their accounts and looting millions of rupees breaching trust of the customers. Both the brothers were communicating the check numbers of the customers and transferred the money in their accounts on the basis of information, the sources said, adding that they traced the check numbers of customers with huge funds and transferred them in their accounts.
The sources said that following the fraud both the brothers have fled away from the country reportedly to Dubai or Australia by way of Sialkot. They have also taken their families away with them; however, their father is in Pakistan, the sources further added.
On the other hand, the management of the ABL has communicated the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) the total amount of fraud of over Rs 120 million and vowed to communicate if more discrepancies appear.
The FIA has registered an FIR against Mirza Gulfam, son of Muhammad Yousaf, Ali Mehmood, son of Altaf Mehmood, Muhammad Hussain, son of Malik Muhammad Javaid, Mirza Muhammad Wasim Baig, son of Muhammad Arshad Baig, Najeeb Hanif, son of Muhammad Hanif, Shahid Maqbool Mirza and Zahid Maqbool Mirza. The agency registering the FIR has started investigation into the fraud.
However, the sources said that the bank auditors are auditing the branches and the fraud amount may touch to over Rs 500 million figures.
Earlier, over Rs 1.5 billion were reportedly embezzled one ABL official Wajahat Hussain Naqvi and the fraud appeared on the surface in 2014. Subsequently, Naqvi was assassinated.
Banking sector experts commenting on the rising number of embezzlement in the deposits and trust of the customers in ABL said that such happenings are largely taking place in ABL due to the exploitation of the staff by the bank management. They said that the bankers of ABL who have to work hard whole the day long without interval, are kept under-paid. The sources said that so-called increment and promotion level has demoralised and de-motivated the staff at the lower levels including branch managers, operation managers and others who are given annual increment more or less of five percent to seven percent despite the fact that the bank enjoys top financial position among the other banks in the country. They said that a few blue-eyed top executives are skimming the bank.
When this scribe contacted Allied Bank Limited Tahir Hassan Qureshi he was not available for his comments.
ABL Group Head Marketing Azhar Naseem was also contacted but he did not bother to clarify the bank position on such the important issue of public interest despite repeated attempts.

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