Court orders police to take PK Halder into custody on arrival for safe surrender

The High Court has ordered the police to take Proshanta Kumar Halder, who is accused of having illegal assets worth Tk 3 billion, into custody on arrival from abroad.

The court ordered the inspector general of police, immigration authorities and the Anti-Corruption Commission to ensure his “safe” surrender on return. 

Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar passed the orders on Wednesday following Halder’s plea seeking security to return home and “help recover the embezzled money”.

The International Leasing and Financial Services Limited or ILFSL had filed the petition with the court in the first week of September saying the life of its former managing director will be in danger if he returns home without protection.

Besides continuing the legal proceedings against the swindlers, it is necessary to give them the scope to refund embezzled money, the judge had said during the hearing earlier.

The court said on Wednesday that the case against Halder should be disposed of quickly.

He can join company meetings as well while under arrest, the court said.

Halder has bought an Emirates Airlines ticket from Dubai to return home, according to the ILFSL plea.

The flight is scheduled to touch down at Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka at 8am on Oct 25.

Halder had told the ILFSL in a letter that the company had invested in several firms owned by him and his family. His absence and the “unwanted situation” in Bangladesh have made it “complex” to run these firms.

The crisis will be over if he returns and the firms will be able to play a role in the country’s economy during the pandemic, according to the letter.

The ILFSL had made the plea when the court had been hearing a writ petition filed by seven clients of the ILFSL for an order to get their money back.

After the initial hearing on the writ petition, the court on Jan 19 issued a travel ban and ordered the confiscation of passports of Halder and 18 others, including his family members and officials of the company.

Halder, a former managing director of NRB Global Bank, had laundered the money abroad and fled to Canada by the time, according to media reports.

The court also ordered a freeze on the transfer of their assets, including cash and land. The Appellate Division upheld the order when two ILFSL directors challenged it.