A Dhaka court on Wednesday issued an arrest warrant against Prashanta Kumar Halder, alias PK Halder, who fled abroad after siphoning off nearly Tk3,500 crore from Bangladesh.
Judge KM Imrul Kayes of Metropolitan Senior Special Judge's Court passed the order.
The warrant has been issued in an Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) case filed over acquiring assets worth around Tk274.91 crore out of known sources of income, said ACC Public Prosecutor Mahmud Hossain Jahangir.
He claimed, "The warrant was issued verbally on 26 November. It was submitted before the court Wednesday for its written approval."
On 8 January this year, the ACC filed a case against PK Halder for acquiring property worth around Tk274.91 crore out of the known income sources. The ACC and the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) are investigating the matter.
On 18 November, the High Court (HC) issued a suo motu rule, taking cognizance of a newspaper report on the ACC move to bring PK Halder back to the country.
In another development on Wednesday morning, the HC, while hearing the ACC updates about bringing back PK Halder, said money launderers will not be spared regardless of their influences.
The court also expressed dissatisfaction with the non-issuance of the arrest warrant even though the ACC had applied for the arrest warrant two months ago.
The court fixed 9 December for delivering the next order, and the ACC was told to submit the report on the arrest warrant in the meantime.
Lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan represented the ACC while Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin Manik the state during the HC hearing.
Addressing the ACC lawyer, the court said, "No matter how big fishes the money launderers are, they will not be spared. No one is above the law."
PK Halder, currently staying in Canada, embezzled about Tk3,500 crore from International Leasing and Financial Services Ltd, Tk2,200 crore from FAS Finance, Tk3,000 crore from People's Leasing and Tk2,500 crore from Reliance Finance.
The embezzlement came to light as the ACC initiated a probe into the casino owners' assets last year.