PK Halder case: Hearing for charge framing on 29 August

PK HalderFile photo

The indictment hearing in amassing wealth from unknown sources and money laundering case filed against 14 people including Prashanta Kumar Halder, former managing director of Global Islami (ex NRB Global) Bank, has been deferred again.

The court has set 29 August for the next hearing. Mohammad Nazrul Islam, judge of Dhaka’s special judge court-10 fixed the date.

Mir Ahmed Ali Salam, public prosecutor of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), confirmed the development to Prothom Alo.

Court sources said the accused had appealed for time extension in the case. The court set the new date for the indictment hearing after hearing both parties.

Prior to the hearing, PK Halder’s cousin Shankhya Byapari, close associates Sukumar Mridha, Anindita Mridha and Abantika Baral were produced before the court.

Ten of the accused including PK Halder himself are absconding in this case. Other absconding accused include PK Halder’s mother Lilabati Halder, brother Pritish Kumar Halder, his associates Amitabh Adhikari, Purnima Rani Halder, Uttam Kumar Mistri, Razib Shome, Shubrata das, Ananga Mohan Roy and Swapan Kumar Mistri.

Court sources said ACC in last January submitted charge sheet against 14 people in this case including PK Halder, his mother, brother and close relatives in this case.

According to the charge sheet filed by ACC, PK Halder bought plots, flats and hotels worth Tk 9.33 billion at different places across country including Dhaka, Narayanganj and Narsingdi with or without providing identity. Besides, he has siphoned off about Tk 800 million to Canada.

ACC says, PK Halder who came from a lower middle class family of Pirojpur district accumulated huge amount of assets within just 10 years (2009-2019). All of his legal earnings stands at Tk 120 million only.

He took loans of Tk 35 billion from four financial institutions— International Leasing and Financial Services Limited, People’s Leasing and Financial Services, FAS Finance and Investment Limited and Bangladesh Industrial Finance Company (BIFC).

At first, he started controlling these institutions through purchasing shares and took loans later. This financial scam came to fore at the beginning of 2020, months after the departure of PK Halder from the country as he fled the country towards the end of 2019.

Quoting Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) and Canadian Financial Intelligence Unit, ACC report says, PK Halder siphoned off more than 11.7 million (1,711,164) Canadian Dollars to his brother Pritish Halder in between 2012 to 2020.

Enforcement Directorate (ED), India's financial corruption investigation agency, arrested PK Halder from West Bengal's North Chabbish Pargana on last 14 May. They also arrested five associates of PK Halder. Before the arrest, the ED found many assets including PK Halder's luxury house in different parts of the state. He is undergoing trial there.

On 7 June, the ED told the court that they had found 88 bank accounts of PK Haldar and his associates in various parts of India including West Bengal. The ED also told the court that PK Halder and his associates received assets worth Rs 3 billion.