The High Court yesterday directed the law enforcement authorities to arrest Proshanta Kumar Halder, who fled the country after allegedly siphoning off around Tk 10,200 crore from some non-banking financial institutions, immediately after his return home.
Allowing Halder, known as PK Halder, to return home, the HC asked the inspector general of police and the immigration police to arrest him upon his arrival at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.
The HC bench of Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar also asked the law enforcers to produce him before the “competent court” for necessary order, Anti-Corruption Commission lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan told The Daily Star.
The bench came up with the order following a petition filed by International Leasing and Financial Services Limited (ILFSL) seeking necessary directive on this issue.
Attorney General AM Amin Uddin represented the state while lawyer Mahfuzur Rahman Milon appeared for ILFSL during the court proceedings.
Halder, a former managing director of NRB Global Bank and Reliance Finance Limited, had earlier wanted to return home and repay the embezzled money.
In August, he wrote to ILFSL — one of the four NBFIs — saying he would return home and settle the liabilities with the firms if he was provided with proper security.
On September 7, ILFSL’s counsel Mahfuzur submitted the letter with an application to the HC for its directive in this regard.
The same day, the HC ordered the firm to inform it when Halder would return home for settling his transactions and liabilities with the firm.
According to Canadian media reports, Halder is now staying in Toronto. He is the director of P&L Hal Holding Inc, a Canadian corporation.
The three other NBFIs from which Halder allegedly embezzled huge sums are People’s Leasing and Financial Services, FAS Finance and Investment, and Bangladesh Industrial Finance Company.
In an investigation, Bangladesh Bank found that Tk 1,596 crore was transferred from ILFSL in violation of the rules through 48 accounts of various organisations related to the directors and shareholders of the firm, according to BB officials.
Halder came under the spotlight during the anti-casino drives last year. The ACC opened an investigation into the alleged involvement of 43 people, including Halder, in the illegal casino business.
The government imposed a travel ban on him on October 3 last year. But he managed to flee the country.
The ACC on January 8 this year had filed a case against Halder on charges of illegally amassing wealth worth Tk 275 crore.
Following a petition filed by two depositors, the HC on January 21 directed the central bank and all private banks to freeze the accounts of Halder, his five relatives, former Bank Asia managing director Erfanudidn Ahmed and Halder’s aide Uzzal Kumar Nondi for allegedly misappropriating funds.
The HC ordered the government to seize the passports of 20 people, including Halder, his wife Susmita Saha and brother Pritish Kumar Halder.
The court also directed the authorities not to allow transfer of any of their movable and immovable properties, including stock, cash and cars, to any persons or entities until the disposal of the case.