November 24, 2020, 12:57 am


Shamiur Rahman Lipu

Published:
2020-10-25 10:55:09 BdST

PK Halder falls ill, not returning to Bangladesh now: lawyers


Proshanta Kumar Halder, who had spoken of his desire to return to Bangladesh amid allegations of having assets beyond means worth Tk 3.0 billion, has had a change of heart.

He says he is not coming back now due to illness, according to lawyers of the state and the Anti-Corruption Commission.

The High Court last week ordered the police to take him into custody on arrival after he had sought protection to return by an Emirates Airlines flight from Dubai on Oct 25.

The court also ordered the inspector general of police, immigration authorities and the ACC to ensure his “safe” surrender on return as he fears for his security.

But later Halder informed the Attorney General’s Office and the commission about the change of plan via email, said Attorney General AM Amin Uddin.

Citing Mahfuzur Rahman Milon, a lawyer for The International Leasing and Financial Services Limited or ILFSL, ACC counsel Khurshid Alam said Halder is not returning now due to “illness”.

Milon did not provide more details.

Halder said in a letter to ILFSL on Friday that he was yet to formally get a copy of the High Court orders about his arrival.

He said he was “feeling feverish and physically unwell”, which “looks like” symptoms of the novel coronavirus infection and it will be “unwise” to travel now.

He also said he would inform the company about a new date and time of his arrival when he gets “physically fit”.

The ILFSL had filed a 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 help recover the embezzled money, the judge had said during the hearing earlier.

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 the task to run the firms “complex”.

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.

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