The Enforcement Directorate (ED) – India's central financial investigation agency – has found assets worth around Tk350 crore belonging to Prashanta Kumar Halder, alias PK Halder, in different parts of West Bengal.
The directorate's lawyer told this to a special court of the Kolkata Metropolitan Magistrate as PK Halder, who fled Bangladesh after embezzling more than Tk10,000 crore from financial institutions, and five of his associates were produced before the court on Tuesday, local media outlets report.
The lawyer said that the investigation agency has also identified 88 bank accounts of PK Halder, former managing director of the then NRB Global Bank and Reliance Finance in Bangladesh, and his associates which were used for money laundering.
Following the agency's request, the court remanded the six in custody for another 14 days and now the directorate will be able to interrogate the arrestees in jail.
On Tuesday, a counsel for Pranesh Kumar Halder, PK Halder's brother, applied for bail but the court rejected it.
ED's lawyer told the court that PK Halder had syphoned off a huge amount of money from Bangladesh to several countries such as Dubai, Singapore and Canada. Through his relatives, PK Halder has laundered a total of Tk6,000 crore from Bangladesh, including Tk350 crore to India. PK Halder and all those who used to siphon off money are Bangladeshis.
On Tuesday, the six were produced before the court after 11 days of jail custody.
In a drive on 14 May, the Enforcement Directorate arrested PK Halder, his brother Pranesh Halder, Swapan Mistry alias Swapan Maitra, Uttam Mistry alias Uttam Maitra, Imam Hossain alias Emon Halder and Amana Sultana alias Sharmi Halder in India.
After that, the court ordered their remand for a total of 13 days in two phases in ED custody. During this time, ED officials interrogated them and extracted vital information.
After a 13-day ED remand, the court on 27 May further remanded them in custody for 11 days. It is learned that a lot of information was obtained by interrogating PK Halder in jail. That statement of interrogation has also been recorded, although no ED authorities have agreed to say anything important in the interest of investigation.
By interrogating PK Halder, the ED officials have already come to know that he and his associates had set up a web of fraudulence all over India, not just in West Bengal.
A large amount of property has also been found by interrogating them. A large part of the embezzlement has been invested in the housing sector.
In Kolkata and its suburbs, the agency has found several companies which were set up by PK Halder or his associates. However, neither PK Halder nor his associates could provide the source of that income.