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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Efforts to bring back PK Halder face legal hurdles

  • 38 cases filed against him
  • Extradition remains challenging due to ongoing legal proceedings in India
Update : 18 Apr 2024, 01:30 PM

Despite facing a staggering 38 cases against him, Notorious money launderer Prashant Kumar Halder, also known as PK Halder, remain out of the country due to legal complications.

The latest case, registered on April 4 at the Dhaka Integrated District Office-1 of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), accuses him of embezzlement and trafficking amounting to Tk41 crore.

While some cases have seen charge sheets issued, legal proceedings have taken place in his absence. Notably, Dhaka Special Judge Court-10 sentenced PK Halder and 13 others to 22 years in prison on October 8 last year, along with a hefty fine of Tk1,522.55 crore.

However, PK Halder remains elusive, having fled to India in October 2019 upon learning of the ACC's investigation into his financial misconduct.

He obtained Indian citizenship under the alias Shivshankar through fraudulent means. Yet, on May 14, 2022, Indian authorities arrested him in Ashoknagar, North 24 Parganas, West Bengal, following which he has remained in custody.

At that time, ACC Chairman Mohammad Moiuddin Abdullah expressed intentions to bring PK Halder back to Bangladesh, citing international law and prisoner exchange agreements.

The ACC, led by Deputy Director Gulshan Anwar Pradhan, has filed multiple cases against PK Halder, with two currently under trial.

Investigations are ongoing into the remaining cases, which involve institutions such as International Leasing and Financial Services, People's Leasing and Financial Services, FAS Finance and Investment Limited, and Bangladesh Industrial Finance Company (BIFC).

Despite Interpol issuing a red notice for PK Halder's arrest at the request of Bangladesh Police on January 8, 2021, extradition remains challenging due to ongoing legal proceedings in India.

Over a decade, from 2009 to 2019, PK Halder and his associates allegedly embezzled approximately Tk11,000 crore from these organizations and smuggled the funds out of the country. However, the total sum involved in the 38 ACC cases against him amounts to around Tk3,500 crore.

PK Halder's modus operandi involved sanctioning loans to fictitious companies, siphoning off funds to destinations including Canada and India.

According to ACC sources, loans were sanctioned against ghost companies like P&L International, P&L Agro, P&L Venture, P&L Business Enterprise, Hal International, Hal Travel, Hal Prep, Hal Capital, Hal Technology, Anon Chemical, Northern Jute, Sukhada Limited, Reptile Farm, Sandwip International, Wintel International, Barna, Imexo, RB Enterprises, Kanika Enterprises and SA Enterprises.

In 2014, he established P&L Hal Holding Inc in Canada with his brother Pritesh Kumar Halder, and in 2018, they founded Hal Trip Technology in India, laundering substantial amounts through these ventures.

ACC Commissioner Zahurul Haque clarified that bringing PK Halder back and recovering the embezzled funds are not solely within their jurisdiction.

Letters have been dispatched to various authorities, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with updates expected shortly, he added.

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