PK Halder now wants to return to Bangladesh knowing he has powerful friends to help him18 May 2022 Editorial Desk
Scamester PK Halder, who left Bangladesh after siphoning off more than Tk 10,000 crore to different countries, including India, now wants to come back to Bangladesh as he has been caught by Indian law enforcers on Saturday in the West Bengal State. Isn't it a bit interesting? But if one ponders over the matter a little closely, it may not appear as surprising as it now seems to be.
Here two things are important. Firstly, like every criminal the former head of NRB Global Bank and Reliance Finance Ltd, Halder now wants to save himself. In India, after the end of the three-day remand he was again taken on a ten-day remand yesterday. He obtained documents of India's citizenship through forgery and he cannot avoid Indian law in this regard. Secondly, it is for sure that large sums of money cannot be transferred to foreign lands without the knowledge of Bangladesh Bank and without cooperation of powerful men in high positions. It is also known that in Bangladesh law can be managed. Moreover, Halder has made large investments in India. So, it will not be possible for an elected government under the rule of law to allow an alleged criminal of many crimes to go to Bangladesh, escaping punishment in India.
We are not sure if Bangladesh will be eager at all to get back Halder for the fear of disclosing other collaborators in Bangladesh. Halder has reportedly exposed names of many big fishes during interrogation by the Indian intelligence agency, the Enforcement Directorate.
All big scams in the country's financial history took place when this government was in power and most of these happened after 2009. Two major share market debacles occurred during its time. From the Hallmark-Sonali Bank loan scandal to Destiny Group and Basic Bank financial scams, all have happened on the watch of the present government. The heist of Bangladesh Bank shook the faith of people in the central bank. The BBC's 2019 investigative report explains the hackers used fraudulent orders on the SWIFT payments system to steal US$101 million from Bangladesh's central bank account. They hacked a Federal Reserve Bank account in New York and successfully managed to steal $81 million that was transferred to accounts at Manila-based Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation. That has never been recovered yet. However, $20 million that was transferred to a Sri Lankan charity could be stopped because the hackers had inadvertently made a spelling error in the name of the charity. It was one of the world's biggest cyber heists.
A data of the Global Financial Integrity (GFI) shows, Tk 64,000 crore is being siphoned off on an average every year from the country. It further adds Tk 3.20 lakh crore has been plundered from the country to different foreign lands in five years from 2009 to 2015 while Tk 4.5 lakh crore in just six years.
Plundering of public money from banks, leasing companies and others going under the government without respect to law. There is no reason to expect that India shall interfere with matters pending in the court. It is not a matter of concern for the government if we do not get back the money. So many others roaming freely or already out of the country with buckets of money nothing is being done against them. The government will be happy to see Halder remain in India.