Prasanta Kumar Halder, the suspected fraudulent businessman better known as PK Haldar, had not taken over just four companies, but had also reportedly grabbed other companies registered with the share market. He bought shares and took control of three companies overnight. He placed his own people as directors of these companies. He set up the offices of these firms all in one building, DH Tower in Karwan Bazar.
The three companies taken over by PK Halder are Simtex Industries, Rahman Chemicals, and Northern Jute Manufacturing Company Limited. He also has control of Aziz Fibre Jute Control, a subsidiary of Aziz Pipes which is registered with the share market. There are questions over the source of funds which PK Halder has invested for these companies in the share market.
PK Haldar is the former managing director of NRB Global Bank and Reliance Finance. He has fled the country after creating a Tk 35 billion financial scam. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) had filed a case against him on 8 January for illegally amassing a wealth of around Tk 2.75 billion.
Loans amounting to Tk 1.7 billion had been taken from International Leasing and Financial Services in the names of Simtex, Rahman Chemicals, and Northern Jute, the companies taken over by PK Halder. This International Leasing is one of the four financial institutions which had been taken over by PK Haldar. In a Bangladesh Bank report it had been said that PK Halder himself was the beneficiary of that Tk 1.7 billion.
Other than International Leasing, the other three financial institutions taken over by PK Halder are People’s Leasing and Financial Services, SAF Finance and Investment Limited, and Bangladesh Industrial Finance Company (BIFC).
PK Halder’s transactions with the share market were conducted through his own brokerage house. He owns KHB Securities and Hal Capital Limited. He also bought and sold shares through at least 10 other brokerage houses. The names of those 10 brokerage houses have been mentioned in the Bangladesh bank report and these include International Leasing Securities and IL Capital. These two are subsidiaries of International Leasing which had been taken over by PK Halder.
Investigations reveal that PK Halder bought shares of Northern Jute from the share market and People’s Leasing chairman Ujjal Kumar Nandi was made chairman there. PK Halder’s cousin Amitabh Adhikari was made a director. These were the only two on the company’s board of directors.
Like PK Halder, Amitabh Adhikari had also been a student of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). Amitabh Adhikari had also been a BCS admin cadre officer. He left his job to become director of Annan Chemicals, Northern Jute and Rahman Chemicals. The Northern Chemicals office was shifted from Motijheel to Karwan Bazar after the acquisition. Northern Jute managing director Ananga Mohan Roy on Sunday said, “I have not been in contact with PK Halder for the past few months. I am a paid employee. I have no shares.”
Rahman Chemicals’ shares were bought in the names of PK Halder, Amitabh Adhikari, KHB Securities MD Rajib Shom, Ananda Mohan Roy, Ratan Kumar Biswas, P&L International, Reptiles Farm, Earthscope Limited, and Nutrical Limited.
Rahman Chemicals took Tk 530 million, Reptile Farm Tk 600 million, Earthscope Limited Tk 600 million, Nutrical Limited Tk 640 million in loans from International Leasing. The directors of Rahman Chemicals are close associates of PK Halder, his friend Ujjal Kumar Nandi and cousin Amitabh Adhikari.
The ACC case statement said that PK Halder invested Tk 233.8 million in Simtex Industries stock in the share market in the names of businessman Siddiqur Rahman, wife Mahfuza Rahman and sons Niaz Rahman and Ishtiaque Rahman. And International leasing provided Simtex with a loan of Tk 800 million. Siddiqur Rahman alone has over 25 per cent shares of Simtex.
Aziz Fibres Jute Mills of Faridpur was once a subsidiary of Aziz Pipes. P&L International acquired Aziz Fibres Jute Mills in 2017 and the actual owner is PK Halder. The entire company is owned by PK Halder and its director is Amitabh Adhikari.
P&L International received a Tk 570 million loan from International leasing and the beneficiary was PK Halder himself. Rajib Shom is the MP of Reptile Farm, KHB Securities as well as Aziz Fibres.
Speaking to Prothom Alo on Sunday, Rajib Shom claimed himself innocent, saying, “I am a paid employee of these companies. Later I was given some shares.”
PK Halder invested in many companies in his own name and under false identities. He used the name of ZA Apparels for his investments under false identity. Jahangir Alam is the MD of this company. It was not possible to contact Jahangir Alam despite several attempts. His cell phone remains turned off.
Depositors of the four financial institutions taken over by PK Halder are now in alarm. They are desperately seeking ways and means to recover their money, but in vain.
*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Ayesha Kabir