The Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) has filed a complaint against seven directors of brokerage firm Banco Securities on the grounds of a Tk66.6 crore shortfall in the consolidated customer account.
They are Abdul Muhit, Shafiul Azam, Waliul Hasan Chowdhury, Nurur Ishan Sadat, A Munim Chowdhury, Jamil Ahmed Chowdhury, and the company itself.
The complaint was filed with Motijheel Police Station in the capital on Monday night following a DSE board meeting that also decided that the brokerage firm's trading operations would be suspended.
But since the matter is to be handled by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), police accepted the complaint as a general diary and forwarded it to the commission, said Abul Hasan, assistant commissioner of police of Motijheel zone.
Following several complaints about anomalies by clients, a DSE team on 6 June found that the consolidated customer account of the brokerage firm had a Tk66.59 crore shortfall, which was a certain outcome of fund diversion and embezzlement of client money in most cases.
Brokerage firms have to maintain consolidated customer accounts. Any shortfall there indicates that clients' money has been diverted somewhere else, which is a financial crime.
The DSE in its complaint said the seven directors had breached the trust of clients and embezzled their money.
Besides, the securities regulator has written to the authorities concerned, asking them not to allow the directors to leave Bangladesh.
DSE Chairman Eunusur Rahman told The Business Standard the stock exchange was further probing what had happened to clients' money and how.
Banco Securities Director Shafiul Azam denied the allegation on Monday in a media interview. He could not be reached on the phone on Tuesday.
Only a few stockbrokers still attempt to embezzle client money and the regulators are taking stern steps against them. The DSE even tries to seize such firms' assets and sell those to compensate clients.
In the middle of last year, Md Shahid Ullah and his wife Nipa Sultana, owners of Crest Securities Limited, were arrested for going into hiding after embezzling nearly Tk50 crore from clients.