Law experts say that it could take four-five months to bring PK Halder back to Bangladesh. When asked how long it would take, Syed Mahbub Khan said, “It’s actually difficult to say precisely. It depends on how many cases have been filed there (India), how long the trials would take or can we bring him back before those trials end.”
He further said that Interpol issued a red alert worldwide to arrest PK Halder, which also reached India. Now, they are trying to get in touch with the Interpol authorities in India to implement the alert. When asked what the Indian Interpol authority has said in response, the ACC official said, “We are yet to receive a reply.”
The ACC director general was asked if India would agree to extradite PK Halder before putting him in trial for cases lodged in that country. He answered, “That’s a big question, many cases have already been filed against him in India, and more will be lodged. They have taken him under remand in one or two cases already. From our end, we will try and apply pressure to get him back in our country. We will continue requesting the Indian authorities and carry on trying.”
When asked about what steps the authorities have taken to recover the money laundered by PK Halder and his associates, he said, “The process of recovering money is very complex and it’s true that there aren’t too many examples of success. We are hopeful that if we could gather information from him (PK Halder), we can recover the money.”
Syed Mahbub Khan also said that the Indian authorities are yet to officially inform their Bangladeshi counterparts about the arrest of PK Halder, “Indian intelligence agency have not officially contacted us. But in their official press release they have written that PK Halder took Bangladesh’s money to India and changed his name.”
“We got to know from the news media that Prashanta Kumar Halder has been arrested in India. He has been arrested on multiple charges over there. We (the commission) sat for a meeting about it today (Monday) morning. We have decided what our next step is going to be.”
Syed Mahbub Khan said that ACC will write a letter to the home ministry to bring PK Halder back using the prisoner extradition agreement. The ACC will also request Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Agency Unit (BFIU) to send detailed information about his wealth. They will also ask the Bangladesh high commission in India to collect information from the local courts and send it to ACC.
Although the ACC hasn’t been directly contacted by the Indian intelligence agency, Interpol has already contacted its National Central Bureau (NCB) in India about the matter, said Syed Mahbub Khan, “Interpol authorities have contacted them to send the convict to Bangladesh as quickly as possible. We are hoping that this would be done as early as possible.”
When asked about PK Halder’s associates, he said, “As far as I can recall, 33 people connected with PK Halder are under investigation. Quite a few men are connected with PK Halder, a few women also. PK Halder’s properties are under their names. They either own the properties or it’s just under their names. We are investigating their properties too.”
Former managing director (MD) of NRB Global Bank, PK Halder took control over four financial institutes– International Leasing and Financial Services, People’s Leasing and Financial Services, FAS Finance and Investment Limited and Bangladesh Industrial Finance Company (BIFC). He then took out loans worth Tk 35bn from these organisations for different shell companies.
In mid-2019, these financial institutes started failing to return money to its investors. PK Halder escaped from Bangladesh during that time. On Saturday, PK Halder was arrested by India’s central intelligence agency Enforcement Directorate (ED).