BSEC orders seize shares in PK Halder

The Bangladesh Security and Exchange Commission (BSEC) has ordered the seizure of all market shares from Prashanta Kumar Halder, better known as the PK Halder companies.

The Central Depository Bangladesh Limited was ordered on Thursday to seize the shares after the court froze all of Halder’s assets following a case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

On May 14, PK Halder, who is wanted for embezzling thousands of millions of taka in Bangladesh, was arrested by law enforcement in India.

Halder primarily took control of four Bangladeshi companies – Bangladesh Industrial Finance Company (BIFC), International Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (ILFSL), FAS Finance and Investments Limited and Peoples Leasing and Financial Services – by buying shares anonymously.

Halder, the former chief executive of NRB Global Bank and Reliance Finance Limited, is said to have fled to Canada after the ACC launched an investigation into his illegal activities related to the casino business in 2019.

Also read – The government is likely to set up a body to extradite PK Halder

He was arrested during ED raids in 10 areas of West Bengal.

PK Halder and his associates raised Tk2,000 crore in loans from FAS Finance and ILFSL against non-existent companies.

However, the amount was transferred directly to various financial institutions created by Halder.

He used layering techniques to disguise the origin of the money through a series of transactions and accounting tricks.

According to the ACC report, Halder took out a loan of Tk 45 crore on behalf of Konica Enterprise, but Tk 11.32 crore of the amount was paid by three Bangladesh Bank checks to settle the debts of the non-existent companies Sandeep Corporations, SA Enterprise, Repay , Arabi Enterprise, Drinan Apparels Ltd, Varna, Amexo and P&L International Ltd.

Halder borrowed the remainder of the amount under the name of MTB Marine Ltd – another FAS Finance and Investment Ltd borrower – using customer checks from 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.

Also, Tk 174 crore was spent on behalf of Newtech Enterprise Ltd, Nature Enterprise Ltd, Deya Shipping Ltd and MTB Marine Ltd. The four non-existent organizations also later took out another Tk 60 crore in loans.

The ACC investigative panel also found that Purnima Rani Haldar, the wife of PK Halder’s partner Swapan Kumar Mistry, had taken out a loan of Tk60 crore as working capital for MTB Marine Ltd, but the amount was held in multiple bank accounts and fictitious institutions was referred by relatives and associates of PK Halder, including former director of Mercantile Bank Ltd, AKM Shaheed Reza.

Also read – ACC is suing PK Halder and 11 others for 44C embezzlement

Atish Mridha, Chairman of Kolasin Ltd., and his brother Uttam Kumar Mistri borrowed Tk 79.70 crore while Songkho Bepari, owner of Moon Enterprise, borrowed 83.34 crore.

Later, Halder’s cousin Amitav Adhikari transferred these funds to various accounts at 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 loans from ILFSL.

Amitabh Adhikari owner of Anan Chemical, Purnima Rani Haldar, Rajiv Som, Ratan Kumar Biswas and Omar Sharif took Tk71 crore from ILFSL as well as FAS Finance.

The amounts were later transferred to another account set up by PK Halder, the ACC said in its report.

The Central Bank’s Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) said about Tk 2,200 crore from FAS Finance and Investment Ltd, Tk 2,500 crore from Reliance Finance Ltd and about Tk 3,000 crore from People’s Leasing and Financial Services Ltd were embezzled and using the names washed by non-existent institutions.

The BFIU said the loans are not mortgaged, meaning there is no way they can be recovered.

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 in various bank accounts.

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