Bangladesh's anti-corruption agency on Thursday filed charges against 27 top bankers and business leaders in the country's biggest-ever banking scandal, officials said.
The embezzlement of 16 billion taka ($192 million) is alleged to have taken place through Sonali Bank, Bangladesh's largest state-run bank, between 2010 and May this year.
The legal action came after the central bank found that Sonali had breached rules in paying out millions of dollars through one of its branches in the capital Dhaka to the Hallmark group, a textile firm.
The accused include Tanvir Mahmud, managing director of Hallmark, his wife Jasmine Islam, who is the chairman of the group, and former Sonali Bank managing director Humayun Kabir.
"This is the biggest banking plunder in the country's history," deputy director of the Anti-Corruption Commission Zainul Abedin Shibli told reporters.
The scandal allegedly involved seven members of the Hallmark group and 20 bank officials, the deputy director said.
The allegations of financial malpractice are the latest in a series of scandals in Bangladesh after a dramatic stock market crash in 2010/11 and a major pyramid scheme collapse.
Sonali Bank, which has some 1,200 branches across the country, has already suspended 20 officials including two senior executives for their alleged role in the embezzlement.