The High Court on Tuesday ordered that the government confiscate all assets and freeze the bank accounts of Proshanto Kumar Halder and 19 of his colleagues.
The 19 others are either directors of International Leasing and Financial Services Ltd or family members or friends of Proshanto Kumar Halder.
Responding to a petition by two depositors, the High Court bench of Justice Khurshed Alam Sarker also ordered that Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled, a former deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank, be appointed Independent Director and Chairman of International Leasing.
The non-banking financial institution has been under a cloud over defaults in deposits and loans of over Tk3,500 crore. A large portion of depositors' money has allegedly been embezzled by its board members.
The High Court also ordered the confiscation of the passports of the 20.
The High Court directed Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled to submit a report by February 2, listing all assets of Proshanto Kumar Halder and the others.
When contacted, Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled told The Business Standard, "I was not interested initially, but since it is the order of the court, I must honour it. Let me join and look into the issues."
The court directed the Ministry of Home to confiscate the assets and ordered the Bangladesh Bank to freeze the bank accounts of the 20 persons within four weeks.
Advocate Shahriar Kabir, lawyer for the petitioners, said that the 19 accomplices of Proshanto are M Nurul Islam former managing director of International Leasing, Director Zahirul Alam, Nasim Anawer, Bashudeb Beenargy, Papiya Beenargy, Momotaj Begum, Nausherul Islam, Anawerul Kabir, Engineer Nuruzzaman, Abul Hashem, M A Hashem, Md. Rashedul Haque, and mother of Proshanto Kumar Halder Lila Boti Halder, wife Susmita Saha, brother Pritush Kumar Halder, cousin Amitabh Adhikari, Avijit Adhikari, former director of Bank Asia Irfan Uddin Ahmed and Proshanto Kumar Halder's friend Ujjal Kumar Nondi.
International Leasing and Financial Services Ltd
Starting its journey in 1996, International Leasing got listed with local stock exchanges in 2007.
According to the unaudited financial statement until September 30, 2019, the non-banking financial institution owes over Tk1,100 crore to other lenders and over Tk2,700 crore to a wide range of depositors.
Since the beginning of 2019, almost none of the depositors could manage to have their money from the firm.
The situation led to a severe fall in its share price, which came down to Tk4.4. The stock was traded above Tk17 a year ago.
Currently sponsors and directors hold over 41 percent of the company shares, while 26.87 percent are owned by various institutional investors. Public ownership accounts for 31.61 percent of the shares.