Industry Desk: India will return money launderer Prashanta Kumar Halder, also known as PK Halder, former director of NRB Global Bank, and his 5 associates by March next year.
An Enforcement Directorate (ED) confidential source confirmed the information yesterday while the accused were produced before the CBI Special Court of the Bankshall Court in Kolkata for the ninth time.
On the day, six accused, including PK Halder, arrested in West Bengal on charges of embezzling thousands of crores of takas from Bangladesh, were produced before the Kolkata-City Sessions Court (Bankshall).
After hearing the arguments of the lawyers of both sides, CBI Special Court-4 Judge Bidyut Kumar Roy ordered the accused to appear in court again on November 17.
“All the accused will be brought to the court again on November 17. Until then, they will remain in jail. If necessary, the ED officials can go to the jail and interrogate them,” said ED lawyer Arijit Chakraborty.
However, the ED lawyer also said that “no new information” was obtained by interrogating the accused while they were in jail, nor was any “new property seized”.
Currently, five male accused including PK Halder is in the Presidency Jail while the only female accused is in Alipore Central Jail.
Earlier on July 11, the ED submitted a chargesheet against the accused in the Kolkata court. The 100-page charge sheet names six accused including PK Halder. In this case, they have been charged with only the ‘Prevention of Money Laundering Act-2002’ case.
Besides, the chargesheet also contains the names of two of their companies. The copy of the 4,500-page Relied Upon Documents (RUD) submitted by the ED was handed over to the accused and signed by them. In that case, the accused will verify the copy of this RUD and inform the court on November 17.
An ED source confirmed today that during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India this month, “pressure was created” to return PK Halder to Bangladesh quickly. In that case, it has been confirmed that no new case will be filed against the accused.
Considering the speed of the case, ED does not want to prolong this case. They are not even in favor of giving a supplementary chargesheet in this case. ED is hopeful that the verdict, in this case, will be completed by February or March next year.
They say that “the accused can be jailed for at least 7 years if found guilty” in this case. After that, 6 accused including PK Halder will be returned to Bangladesh as per the India-Bangladesh Prisoner Repatriation Agreement.
On May 14 this year, PK Halder, his brother Pranesh Halder, Swapan Mistry alias Swapan Maitra, Uttam Mistry alias Uttam Maitra, Imam Hossain alias Imon Halder and Amana Sultana alias Sharmi Halder were arrested during searches in various places in Kolkata Burdwan and Ashoknagar.
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