PK Halder yet to return, cites fever as reason

Proshanta Kumar Halder, director of International Leasing and Finance Service Limited (ILFSL), who allegedly embezzled crores of taka from NBFIs, did not return to Bangladesh though he was supposed to yesterday.

ILFSL’s lawyer Mahafuzur Rahman Milon informed the Attorney General’s office and Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) via e-mail on Saturday, ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan told The Daily Star.

In a letter to ILFSL on Friday, PK Halder wrote, “I am feeling feverish and physically unwell. With the present Covid-19 situation, this looks like a symptom and it will be unwise and not possible for me to travel at this point of time.”

He added that he will inform the authorities concerned about the new date and time of his arrival as soon as he is physically fit.

Halder is allegedly involved in the misappropriation of about Tk 10,200 crore from four non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs)

Earlier on October 21, the High Court directed law enforcement agencies to arrest Halder immediately after his return to the country.

At the same time, the HC bench of Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar asked law enforcers to give PK Halder, former managing director of NRB Global Bank and Reliance Finance, the scope to refund the money to the organisations from which he embezzled the money.

Halder had earlier wanted to return home and refund the money.

In August, he wrote to ILFSL — one of the four NBFIs — saying he would return home and settle the liabilities with the firm if he is provided proper security.

According to Canadian media reports, Halder is now staying in Toronto. He is the director of Canadian corporation P&L Hal Holding Inc.

The three other NBFIs from which Halder allegedly embezzled crores of taka are People’s Leasing and Financial Services, FAS Finance and Investment, and Reliance Finance.

In an investigation, the central 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 Bangladesh Bank officials.

Halder came under the limelight during the anti-casino drives last year. The ACC opened investigations into the involvement of 43 people, including Halder, in the illegal casino business.

The government issued a travel ban on him on October 3 last year, but he managed to flee the country.

The ACC on January 8 this year 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 Bangladesh Bank and all private banks to freeze the accounts of Halder, his five relatives, Bank Asia’s former managing director Erfan Uddin Ahmed and Halder’s aide Uzzal Kumar Nondi for allegedly misappropriating funds.

The HC further ordered the government to seize the passports of 20 people, including Halder, his wife Susmita Saha and his brother Pritish Kumar Halder.

The court also directed authorities concerned not to allow transfers of any of their movable and immovable property, including stock, cash and cars, to any persons or entities until the disposal of the case.


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