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BSEC orders freezing of PK Halder’s shares

Niaz Mahmud
19 May 2022 21:32:11 | Update: 19 May 2022 21:32:37
BSEC orders freezing of PK Halder’s shares
Screenshot of a live broadcast by Channel 24 shows PK Halder being escorted by members of India's Enforcement Directorate on May 14

The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) has ordered the freezing of all beneficiary owners’ accounts of Proshanta Kumar Halder alias PK Halder, who swindled over Tk 10,200 crore from different non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs).

Officials said the stock market regulator on Thursday asked the Central Counterparty Bangladesh Limited (CCBL), including Dhaka and Chittagong stock exchanges, to freeze until further notice all types of securities directly or indirectly held by Halder.

Back in January 2020, the High Court had ordered confiscating all properties, freezing all bank accounts, and seizing the passports of Halder, the former managing director (MD) of NRB Global Bank and Reliance Finance Ltd.

In December that year, a Dhaka court also ordered the freezing of his immovable properties in a case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

The ACC has so far on charges of embezzlement of billions of takas and money laundering.

The ACC has so far prosecuted Halder and his 80 associates in at least 34 cases over their involvement in money embezzlement and laundering. With court permission, the commission has so far confiscated immovable properties worth Tk 1,000 crore.

On May 14, India's Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Halder in the eastern state of West Bengal. The government is now coordinating with India and Interpol to have him extradited to Bangladesh.

Halder had created several fake companies and embezzled the money from International Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (ILFSL), FAS Finance & Investment Ltd, Reliance Finance Ltd, and People’s Leasing and Financial Services Limited.

As per a Bangladesh Bank probe report, he embezzled about Tk 3,500 crore from four NBFIs, but ACC found that he was involved in swindling more than Tk 10,000 crore.

According to the ACC report, Halder misappropriated more than Tk 10,200 crore, taken as loans from the NBFIs, using the names of at least 30 entities. He then laundered much of that amount to Canada, Singapore, and India.

Halder and his associates took loans amounting to Tk 2,000 crore from FAS Finance and ILFSL against many non-existed companies, but the money was directly transferred to various financial institutions he formed.

Halder, also a former MD of ILFSL, is accused of embezzling funds and purchasing large shares while taking control of four NBFIs, in which he placed his close associates in positions of power.

According to industry insiders, PK Halder’s first job was at the Industrial and Infrastructure Development Finance Company Ltd, where he climbed the corporate ladder pretty quickly and became the deputy managing director (DMD) in 2008. He became the MD of Reliance Finance Ltd in 2009.

In July 2015, he became the MD of NRB Global Bank (renamed later to Global Islami Bank). According to industry insiders, it was at this time that he came up with his plan to defraud thousands of people by embezzling their money.