The court reprimands the ACC for taking a long time to send a travel ban notice even in the age of the internet
The High Court on Thursday said the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) had made it easy for PK Halder to flee abroad by sending a notice regarding his travel ban to the immigration police 13 hours behind schedule.
The High Court bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman made the remark while hearing the petition of an organization involved in PK Halder’s embezzlement, called Anan Chemical Industries Ltd.
The court reprimanded the ACC for taking so long to send a letter even in the age of the internet.
Advocate Md Khurshid Alam Khan stood for the ACC while Deputy Attorney General Sarwar Hossain Bappi represented the state.
It is to be noted that on March 1, the immigration police informed the High Court that former managing director of NRB Global Bank and Reliance Finance Ltd Prashant Kumar Halder alias PK Halder fled the country through Benapole Land Port, not through Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.
The immigration police also said that on October 22, 2019, the ACC sent a letter to the Special Branch (SB) headquarters to ask the immigration police to prevent PK Halder from leaving Bangladesh.
The SB headquarters received the letter at 4:30pm on October 23. Copies of the letter were delivered to all branches of the immigration police at 5:47pm on the same day.
However, two hours and nine minutes before the letters reached them, PK Halder had already managed to flee the country through Benapole.
On February 15 this year, the High Court bench comprising Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Mohi Uddin Shamim issued a rule asking how PK Halder had escaped despite being banned from leaving the country.
The court also sought a list of immigration and ACC officials who were on duty on the day PK Halder fled Bangladesh.
It is worth mentioning that taking into cognizance a report published by a national daily on November 18, 2020 mentioning that the ACC would seek the Interpol’s help in apprehending PK Halder, the High Court on November 19 issued several suo moto rules to find out what steps had been taken to repatriate and arrest him.
It might be recalled that the ACC on January 8, 2020, filed a case against Halder for amassing illegal wealth worth around Tk274 crore.
He is accused of embezzling Tk1,500 crore from the International Leasing and Financial Services Ltd. Halder had allegedly embezzled Tk3,500 crore from different financial agencies.