PK Halder arrested in West Bengal
ACC sifting ways to get him back
Published : Sunday, 15 May, 2022 at 12:00 AM Count : 436
Fugitive Bangladeshi businessman and former NRB Global Bank Managing Director Proshanta Kumar Halder alias PK Halder, along with five others, were detained in Ashoknagar of the Indian state of West Bengal on Saturday morning, according to information from the Anti-Corruption Commission.
Khurshid Alam, the chief counsel of ACC, said, "We've come to know that the Enforcement Directorate arrested PK Halder in West Bengal." A diplomatic source in India confirmed that India's intelligence agency picked Halder up on Saturday. His home was raided on Friday.
India's economic intelligence agency Directorate of Enforcement (ED) carried out search operations at various residential
buildings linked to Halder's associates at Ashoknagar of North 24 Parganas in West Bengal in connection with a multi-million taka financial fraud, diplomatic sources said.
On how authorities plan to bring PK Halder back to Bangladesh, Alam said, "He will be shown arrested under the specific law he was arrested there or he will be handed over to Bangladesh under the mutual deal or extradition treaty with India." The mutual treaty was used to ask India for information on Halder.
"Halder will be produced in court when he is handed over to Bangladesh. ACC will then petition to remand him. ACC will follow the court orders," Alam said, adding that Halder faces arrest warrants in 36 cases on charges of money laundering.
"The [Indian] law enforcers swiftly took him in, and that is a special piece of good news for us as processes left hanging for investigation will gain speed with the opportunity to question him."
The Enforcement Directorate of India conducted raids on 10 properties linked to Proshanta, Pritish Kumar Halder, Pranesh Kumar Halder and Sukumar Mridha throughout Friday, according to media reports.
Halder is a former managing director of the International Leasing and Financial Services Limited or ILFSL and NRB Global Bank. He is accused of embezzling funds and purchasing large shares while taking control of four financial institutions, in which he placed his close associates in positions of power. The ACC has so far prosecuted PK Halder and a number of his associates in at least 34 cases on charges of embezzlement of billions of taka and money laundering.
The investigators have charged them in court in one of the cases and three more charge sheets are awaiting the ACC's approval.
As many as 13 of the accused have been arrested and grilled in custody while 11 of them have given statements confessing to their parts of the crimes. Court has slapped an overseas travel ban on 64 people in connection with the cases.
It also ordered a freeze on bank accounts of 83 associates of PK Halder and their immovable assets worth around Tk 10 billion.
Earlier in a press release on Friday, ED said it was carrying out search operations at various residential buildings linked to Bangladesh nationals namely Proshanta Kumar Halder, Pritish Kumar Halder, Pranesh Kumar Halder and their associates across the state of West Bengal.
"Proshanta Kumar Halder has been posing himself as Indian citizen in the name of Shibshankar Halder after having managed to fraudulently obtain various government identities like ration card (from the State of West Bengal), Indian voter ID card, PAN and Aadhar card. Similar is the situation in respect of other associates of the Proshanta Kumar Halder," the release reads.
It said the ED has ascertained that these Bangladesh nationals have also managed to float companies in India on the basis of fraudulently obtained identities and have even purchased immovable properties at various places including in the posh areas of the Metropolis Kolkata.
On March 1 last year, PK Halder fled Bangladesh through Jashore's Benapole land port. According to media reports PK Halder possessed two passports -- one Bangladeshi and the other Canadian -- but used his Bangladeshi passport to go to India.
In January, 2021, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed five cases against 33 people, including Halder, for allegedly laundering over Tk 350 crore of International Leasing and Financial Services Limited (ILFSL). He had laundered about Tk 80 crore to Canada and amassed about Tk 426 crore beyond his known sources of income.