ACC investigation team recommends filing 30 fresh cases
One of the most infamous loan scammers of the country, Prashant Kumar Halder alias PK Halder, and 74 of his associates misappropriated Tk2,000 crore from two financial institutions using the names of some 30 non-existent companies, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has found.
The accused secured no mortgage in the name of these institutions, making it impossible to recover the amount taken as loan from FAS Finance and Investment Ltd, and International Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (ILFSL) from 2014-2019.
Earlier in May, the ACC filed 20 cases against Halder and 40 of his associates for laundering around Tk1,300 crore from the same financial institutions using the names of 20 fake companies.
An ACC official, requesting anonymity, told Dhaka Tribune that the companies only existed on papers and their profiles were created using computers at a hideout of PK Halder.
The ACC investigation team, led by its Deputy Director Gulshan Anwar Pradhan, has finalized its report recommending 30 cases against 75 people in this connection. They will submit the report to the commission soon.
Some of the non-existent companies used by Halder and his cronies include Arabi Enterprise, Konica Enterprise, Moon Enterprise, G&G Enterprise, Anan Chemical Industries Ltd, Tamim and Talha Enterprise, Crossroads Corporation, Marine Trust, Newtech, MST Marine, Green Line Development and Messrs Bernarbi Enterprise.
ILFSL Managing Director Rashedul Islam and People's Leasing and Financial Services Ltd Chairman Uzzal Kumar Nandi recently, in confessional statements before a court, explained their involvement in embezzling funds in association with Halder.
A former managing director of NRB Global Bank and Reliance Finance Limited, PK Halder fled the country through Benapole Land Port on October 23, 2019, just around two hours before immigration police received a notice about his travel ban.
The ACC issued a notice in this regard on October 22, and the notice was sent to the Special Branch (SB) Headquarters on October 23.
The commission is now trying to bring back Halder, who is now believed to be in Canada.
PK Halder and his associates took loans amounting to Tk2,000 crore from the FAS Finance and ILFSL against these non-existent companies, but the amount was directly transferred to various financial institutions created by Halder.
He used layering procedures to conceal the source of the money through a series of transactions and bookkeeping tricks.
According to the ACC report, Halder took a loan of Tk45 crore in the name of Konica Enterprise, but Tk11.32 crore of the amount was transferred using three checks of Bangladesh Bank to repay the liability of non-existent companies Sandeep Corporations, SA Enterprise, Arabi Enterprise, Drinan Apparels Ltd, Varna, Amexo and P&L International Ltd.
Halder took the rest of the amount using the name of MTB Marine Ltd, another borrower of FAS Finance and Investment Ltd, using customer checks of One Bank Ltd, Mercantile Bank Ltd and Bank Asia Ltd.
Similarly, Tk35 crore was issued in the name of Moon enterprises, Tk38 crore for Messrs Bernarbi Enterprise and Tk40 crore for Anan Chemical Industries Ltd.
In addition, Tk174 crore was issued in the name of Newtech Enterprise Ltd, Nature Enterprise Ltd, Deya Shipping Ltd and MTB Marine Ltd. The four non-existent organizations took another Tk60 crore in loans later as well.
The ACC inquiry panel also found that Purnima Rani Haldar, wife of PK Halder’s associate Swapan Kumar Mistry, took a loan of Tk60 crore as working capital for MTB Marine Ltd, but the amount was transferred to several bank accounts and made-up institutes owned by PK Halder’s relatives and associates, including former Mercantile Bank Ltd director AKM Shaheed Reza.
Halder’s associates Kolasin Ltd Chairman Atish Mridha and his brother Uttam Kumar Mistri took Tk79.70 crore in loans while Songkho Bepari, owner of Moon Enterprise, took Tk83.34 crore.
Later, Halder’s cousin Amitav Adhikari transferred these amounts to different accounts of Sigma Capital Management Ltd, Hal International, Paramount Spinning Ltd, NRB Global Ltd and Bank Asia’s Dhanmondi branch.
Arthscope Ltd Chairman Mira Deuri and MD Prashant Deuri took Tk75 crore, while Neutral Ltd owners Swapan Kumar Mistry and Kazi Mumrez Mahmud took Tk80 crore loan from ILFSL.
Anan Chemical owner Amitabh Adhikari, Purnima Rani Haldar, Rajiv Som, Ratan Kumar Biswas, Omar Sharif took Tk71 crore from ILFSL as well as FAS Finance.
The sums were later transferred to another account created by PK Halder, the ACC said in its report.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) of the central bank says that about Tk2,200 crore from FAS Finance and Investment Ltd, Tk2,500 crore from Reliance Finance Ltd and about Tk3,000 crore from People's Leasing and Financial Services Ltd was embezzled and laundered using the names of non-existent institutions.
The BFIU says there was no mortgage against the loans, meaning there was no possibility of recovering them.
With the help of the BFIU, the government has so far frozen over Tk2,700 crore of Halder’s money, of which around Tk1,400 crore was with different bank accounts.