Saifuddin Ahmed is the Executive Vice President and
Divisional Head of the Investigation Department of Habib Bank Limited.
He is responsible for handling cases of bank fraud, forgery, robbery and
dacoity in different branches of the bank. Besides dealing with fraud
and forgery cases, Saif has to find out clues of the unresolved and
mysterious matters within the bank. Having a keen insight and knack to
resolve intricacies of mysterious cases, he applies undaunted nature and
courage which is certainly a gift from the nature.
Saifuddin also lends a helping hand to his senior
management for the recovery of bank funds. In view of his professional
expertise and intelligence, the law enforcing agencies also benefit from
his services privately while confronted with difficult cases of fraud
and forgery. During his banking career he has gone through highly
difficult situations while encountering with the bank robbers, dacoits,
and gangsters and while handling them he never lose his nerves and peace
of mind. The broken finger, signs of bruises and injuries on his body
proves the evident of his adventurous nature of job.
Saifuddin joined Habib Bank in 1969. Besides, going
through process of training in different fields including fraud
prevention, detection and investigation, Saifuddin had opportunities to
attend seminars and workshops related to bank investigations. When he
shares his thrilling experiences people usually feel themselves as the
part of some of the hair raising episodes.
What do you think about the state of affairs in the banking sector
especially regarding financial crime? What do you think are the cases of
bank forgery and fraud were declining or they are increasing?
Unfortunately the cases of fraud and forgery were increasing to an
alarming level. The most vulnerable areas for bank crimes are including
pay orders and cheques which are on top of the list. Though the graph of
the events of bank fraud and forgery was not so high until recent pass,
however, cases of forgery have virtually become difficult to detect,
many forgery cases come to light after many days of the commission of
the crime. Some times, it becomes too late when the victims really come
to know that they have been cheated. Thousands of forgery cases were
detected where then forged cheque and pay orders were apparently so
deceptive that it becomes extremely difficult to draw a line between the
genuine and the forged papers.
What can be the real factors behind rising graph of forgery and frauds
in the banking system?
The key factor behind increasing trend of forgery in banking system is
the "living beyond the means which has become a social malaise in
the society besides support of the influential people encouraging the
crimes. Without having a strong support and backing by the influential
quarters, people involved in the crime would dare of committing the
crime. It is highly painful that support by the strong lobbies of the
influential people was behind the crime in majority of the cases
detected so far.
In one of such fraud cases, the man caught who was
involved in the fraud case in Eidgah area was so daring confident of his
support that he challenged in front of many people that he would not
remain in police custody more than two hours. And that daring challenge
clearly proved of a strong backing provided by the power people behind
the crime. The increasing cost of living in the backdrop of generally
low income to a large segment of the society was the real factor behind
pushing up the crime rate because living beyond the means compels the
people to find out the short cuts. Another factor is 'insecure movement'
of pay orders and cheques. The outburst of modern technology especially
the information technology has made it much easier to copy signatures.
The well informed and organized gangs operating in the financial sector
find it easy to forge signatures of hefty account holders. People
involved in producing forged signatures usually confine themselves with
the process of forged signature, they usually don't involve themselves
into commission of the crime and other part of frauds but only confined
to copy the signatures. They charge heavily for their services of
producing forged signatures on the cheques while rest of the job is done
by others. These forged documents are so close to the real ones that
they give a real shock to the victims when they come to know that these
were not their original cheques. The recent investigations suggest that
we are in need of immediate reforms especially in the law enforcing
agencies to convey a clear message to the criminals that they will be
handled with an iron hand by the law of the land. Actually, the entire
banking system revolves around signature; this is the key area which
calls of special attention to protect the banking system from the
Money transactions of huge amount are carried out on
the basis of signatures. Though, under the preventive measurers we have
issued several instructions to handle the huge amount cheques and pay
orders with care. We have immediate contact link of the pay order or
cheque owners of big account holders. Practically speaking, the banks
don't entertain cheques of huge amounts without ensuring authenticity of
the papers and the signatures.