Bangladesh Grameen Bank denies diverting millions of aid money to other projects

Dhaka, Dec 4 (ANI): Bangladeshi micro-credit pioneer Grameen Bank's Muhammad Yunus has described allegations of diverting millions of dollars of aid money from the bank, as "total fabrication and baseless."

The BBC quoted the bank's statement as saying that "mental agony" has been caused by an "inaccurate and misleading news report published globally regarding an alleged 'siphoning off' of a large amount money by Professor Yunus through one of his organisations".

"We wish to assure all readers that these reports are a total fabrication and baseless," it added.

Norwegian authorities said they had no suspicion of tax fraud or corruption committed by Grameen Bank.

"Having said that, the Government of Norway finds it totally unacceptable that aid is used for other purposes than intended no matter how praiseworthy the causes might be," Norwegian International Development Minister Erik Solheim had said.

Solheim also said that he had asked the Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation for a full report on the matter, adding: "At the same time it is important to stress that we are firm believers in micro-finance as a tool in the fight against poverty."

A Danish documentary maker Tom Heinemann had also alleged that Professor Yunus and his associates had diverted nearly 100 million dollars of grant money to another company, Grameen Kalyan, which was not involved in micro-credit operations, the report said.

His documentary also claimed that after the Norwegian authorities raised objections to the alleged funds transfer, only about 30 million dollars was diverted back to Grameen Bank.

However the Grameen Bank's statement denied the allegations saying that they were "completely false." (ANI)

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