Longadu Upazila of Tolpar Rangamati has been accused of embezzling loans from Sonali Bank in the name of more than five hundred villagers. Farmers suffer from anxiety after receiving loan repayment notice. They say that despite not taking any loan from Sonali Bank Longdu branch, a repayment notice has been issued in their name showing a loan ranging from Tk 50 thousand to Tk 3 lakh. Victims staged protest and human chain in Longdu town demanding cancellation of fake loans.
In 2012, Sonali Bank branch of Longadu Upazila issued loans in the name of 506 people of Durgam Vasanyadam Union of Rangamati. By the end of 2023, after receiving the loan repayment notice from Sonali Bank, the victims came to know that each of them had a loan of 50 thousand to 3 lakh rupees.
The victims said that a local gang collected national identity cards from them in 2012 on the pretext of government assistance. They don’t know anything after that.
Local residents complain that how the bank authorities give loans just by looking at their ID cards without visiting their homes or seeing them.
Another resident says that the bank authorities are withdrawing money by cutting checks from his check book by showing fake loans.
Another victim local says that a loan of 1 lakh 5 thousand taka has been taken in his name. But he doesn’t know that.
Bhuya has also protested and formed a human chain to demand the cancellation of this fake loan.
Most of the people in whose name the loans have been issued are landless, day labourers. Longadu Upazila Parishad Chairman Abdul Barek Sarkar thinks that the embezzlement of loan money may happen with the connivance of dishonest bank officials.
Longadu Sonali Bank branch manager Abul Kasem refused to speak in front of the camera when asked about this.
However, Rangamati Deputy Commissioner Mosharraf Hossain Khan said that a fair investigation is needed in the case of getting the villagers into a debt trap in the name of government assistance with national identity cards. He said, ‘We have talked to Sonali Bank authorities about this. The bank authorities say that an investigation will be conducted in this regard. Necessary action will be taken after finding out the actual number.
Victims demand swift identification of culprits and punishment.