The High Court has summoned 129 loan defaulters from International Leasing and Financial Services Limited (ILFSL), including much-talked about Proshanta Kumar Halder known as PK Halder, directing them to appear before it to place their plans about returning around Tk 1,800 crore.
The defaulters have been directed to appear in person at 10:30am on May 24 and 25 to explain when they shall pay off the money that they have taken from ILFSL as loan.
The court, however, said in the order that they would be permitted to come up with their pay-plan in installment so that they can gradually repay their dues within a reasonable time.
The HC bench of Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar came up with the order on March 16 after holding hearing on a petition filed by the ILFSL along with the lists of persons and entities, who taken the loan from ILFS, seeking necessary order.
The full text of the HC order was released recently after the judge completed writing and signed it.
During hearing the petition on March 16, ILFSL’s lawyer Md Mahfuzur Rahman Milon told the HC bench that the persons and entities, who took loans from his client, should be brought before this court by issuance of summons for the purpose of assessing the damage caused to the ILFSL, and if needed, arresting them — to recover the damage.
The lawyer also said the loan defaulting persons and entities should be prosecuted for committing criminal offence of cheating and misappropriating the public money or funds, their bank accounts should be frozen and they should be barred from transferring their all sorts of movable and immovable properties for an effective disposal of the matter.
Mahfuzur Rahman Milon prayed to the HC bench to pass an order for confiscating their passports till disposal of the instant matter, according to the written order of the HC.
After the hearing, the HC also directed the loan defaulters to show causes why the Anti-Corruption Commission should not be ordered to initiate proceedings against them for misappropriating the public money/funds.
Mahfuzur Rahman Milon told The Daily Star that ILFSL has an outstanding loans of about Tk 1,800 crore from these 129 borrowers.
Earlier, the same HC bench summoned 286 loan defaulters from People’s Leasing and Financial Services Limited (PLFS), another non-banking financial institution, which is under the process of winding up. Complying with the court order, 164 borrowers appeared in the court on February 23, 25 and March 9 this year. But 122 borrowers didn’t appear.
Then the HC imposed a travel ban upon the 122 borrowers of the PLFS as they did not comply with the court order.
The court asked law enforcing agencies to remain alert and vigilant so that the 122 borrowers, who didn’t appear before the court, don’t leave the territory of Bangladesh till further order.
Following a petition filed by seven depositors of the ILFSL, the HC on January 19 in 2020 imposed ban on leaving the country for 20 persons, including all present shareholder-directors and the top executives of ILFSL.
Former director of the company PK Halder and some of his cohorts embezzled a huge amount from the company.
Halder is accused of embezzling and laundering a huge amount of public money from some non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs). He fled the country on October 23, 2019.
Halder, now staying in Toronto, is the director of P&L Hal Holding Inc, a Canadian corporation, according to Canadian media reports.
He came to the limelight during the anti-casino drives in the country in 2019. The ACC had launched an investigation into the involvement of 43 people, including Halder, in the illegal casino business.