Why PK Halder’s accomplices are still not arrested, asks HC
Publish- March 15, 2021, 09:54 PM
UNB NEWS - UNB NEWS
Update- March 15, 2021, 10:02 PM
File photo, UNB
The High Court (HC) on Monday asked the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) why PK Halder’s accomplices – former Bangladesh Bank deputy governor SK Sur Chowdhury and executive Shah Alam – were yet to be arrested in a money laundering case.
Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Mohiuddin Shamim’s raised the question while hearing regarding the escape of PK Halder, the disgraced director of International Leasing and Finance Service Ltd (ILFSL),
“You must take action against them,” the bench told the ACC lawyer.
Meanwhile on March 14, the Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) of Bangladesh Bank sought information on the bank accounts of Sur and his wife, as well as those of Alam and his two wives.
The two officials are accused of receiving bribes from top executives of some leasing companies.
According to BB official sources, the BFIU has sent letters to all banks asking them to submit relevant bank account details. All of them have been asked to send their account opening forms, transactions and other information.
On February 15, the High Court inquired how PK Halder fled the country although his passport had been seized.
The court also sought a list of officers who were on duty at the immigration office of airport and at ACC while Halder fled the country.
At the same time, the court also inquired about the latest development in the PK Halder case.
Deputy Attorney General AM Amin Uddin on Monday submitted a probe report of Inspector General of Police in this regard.
Amin Uddin, quoting immigration police, said on October 22, 2019, ACC sent a letter to the immigration police to stop 24 people, including Halder, from leaving the country. But the letter did not mention their passport numbers.
Based on the letter, restriction was imposed at 5:47pm on October 23 but at the same time, the process of collecting their passport numbers was also underway, he said.
According to Immigration Management System, Halder left the country at 3:38pm on October 23, he added.
In response, the HC said there was negligence either on part of the ACC or the immigration police.
“We’ll find out the people responsible behind the negligence and take action against them,” the court said.
ACC was asked to submit its written statement in the form of affidavit.
On January 21 this year, the HC sought list of officials (from 2008 to 2020) in the ACC and three departments of Bangladesh Bank. It had also asked to investigate if the officials had any failure in preventing money laundering and whether any steps had been taken against them.
The HC on Oct 21 last year directed the authorities concerned to arrest PK Halder as soon as he returns to the country as he reportedly amassed Tk 3,600 crore and laundered the money abroad while performing his duties as director at ILFSL.
ACC also filed a case against Halder for acquiring wealth of nearly Tk 275 crore beyond any known sources of income and money laundering on January 8, 2020.
The High Court on January 22, 2020, ordered the confiscation of properties, freezing of bank accounts and passports of Halder, also former managing director of NRB Global Bank Ltd, and 19 others including his mother, wife and brother.
After hearing appeals of seven investors of ILFSL, the court also imposed restrictions on them from leaving the country.