PK Halder arrested in India
14 May, 2022, 04:25 pm
Last modified: 14 May, 2022, 05:31 pm
He had been living in West Bengal posing as an Indian citizen
PK Halder after arrest. Photo: Collected
Former NRB Global Bank managing director Prashanta Kumar Halder, alias PK Halder, charged with embezzling over Tk11,000 crore has been arrested in India's West Bengal.
Anti-Corruption Commission lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan in an interview Saturday (14 May) said the Indian officials arrested PK Halder around noon.
According to media reports, the arrest was made during multiple drives in at least nine places of Kolkata, North and South 24 Parganas carried out by Enforcement Directorate (ED), an investigative agency of the Indian finance ministry.
PK Halder was hiding in a house in Ashok Nagar in the North 24 Pargana district. ED also arrested his five associates including his wife and brother.
"Now there are some formalities. If he has committed a crime under any Indian law, he will be taken to court there. He will be shown arrested under that law," said Khurshid Alam Khan.
He also noted that PK Halder will be handed over to Bangladesh under the Bangladesh-India extradition treaty.
"After extradition, he will be presented to the court in Bangladesh. Then remand will be sought from the ACC," he added.
All the suspects had fraudulently obtained Indian citizenship papers, reports Hindustan Times.
"The money siphoned from Bangladesh was used for buying a huge quantity of land and property in Bengal and Kolkata," an ED official said seeking anonymity.
"The money was taken as loan from various banks by companies that only exist on paper.
Realising that they had been cheated, the banks informed the financial intelligence unit of the Bangladesh police that subsequently approached the Indian government," the officer added.
PK Halder had been living in West Bengal posing as an Indian citizen. He used the name Shibshankar Halder after procuring a ration card issued by the West Bengal government, Indian voter ID card as well as PAN and Aadhar card, an ED statement said.
ED officials found that the suspects had set up companies in India on the basis of these documents and also purchased immovable property at various places, including Kolkata.
The money embezzled in Bangladesh was siphoned to other countries as well, the statement said.
Earlier, the Anti-Corruption Commission filed the case on 8 January 2020 against PK Halder for allegedly acquiring illegal assets worth around Tk275 crore.
PK Halder, who has been absconding, acquired illegal assets worth around Tk426 crore in various illegal ways in his name and under various real and fake companies and individuals, according to the chargesheet.
To conceal the location of his illegal assets, PK Halder transacted money through 178 bank accounts. He deposited Tk6,080 crore in these accounts and withdrew Tk6,076 crore from them in his name and anonymously.
According to the ACC, PK Halder has swindled at least Tk11,000 crore from various organisations.
Sources at the ACC said the amount of swindled money they so far learned about during the investigation of the case may increase further.
PK Halder has embezzled around Tk3,500 crore from ILFSL, Tk2,200 crore from FAS Finance, Tk2,500 crore from Reliance Finance and Tk3,000 crore from People's Leasing. There is almost no mortgage against all these loans, so the chances of recovering the loans are slim, said the ACC.
After investigations, the ACC has already filed several cases.