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The Financial Express

ILFSL scam: SC upholds HC order freezing bank accounts, passports of top officials

It's possible to bring back laundered money, BB lawyer says


FE Online Report | Published: February 26, 2020 14:30:14 | Updated: February 26, 2020 17:59:37


FE file photo FE file photo

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a High Court order that imposed a travel ban upon all the present shareholder-directors and the top executives of the International Leasing and Financial Services Limited (ILFSL), including much-talked about PK Halder.

A four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by chief justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order after dismissing an appeal petition filed by two shareholder-directors of the ILFSL against the High Court order.

After the SC order, Barrister Tanjib-ul Alam who appeared in the court for Bangladesh Bank said, “The central bank doesn’t want winding up of the ILFSL. The authorities of the central bank will take further initiatives after consulting with all the stake-holders of the company so that the company can be viable.”

“It is possible to bring back the laundered money of the company and the alleged launderer PK Halder. The government can follow the legal procedures. We have to see if there is any mutual co-operation agreement between Bangladesh and the laundered country. We heard the money was laundered to Canada that we have a mutual cooperation agreement with. It is possible to recover the laundered money under the agreement. Attorney General has to play a vital role for this,” added the lawyer.

Advocate Ahsanul Karim who appeared for the shareholder-directors of ILFSL said, “The High Court imposed a travel ban and ordered to freeze bank accounts of all the present shareholder-directors of the company. But all are not responsible for looting money. There are some good shareholder-directors too. The company is not running due to the HC ban. So we went to the appellate division. But the apex court rejected our petition.” 

Following a petition filed by seven depositors of ILFSL, the High Court on January 19, 2020, also directed the authorities concerned not to transfer any of the present shareholder-directors and the top executives’ movable and immovable properties, including stock, cash-money, cars etc, to any persons or entity till disposal of the case filed with the High Court in this regard.

Secretary of the ministry of home affairs was directed to seize the passports of all the present shareholder-directors and top executives of the company and to collect detailed information of all of them.

The court also directed the secretary to take necessary steps with utmost priority without squandering any time so that the aforesaid persons cannot leave the country in any way and the secretary is directed to inform the court within 15 days.

Bangladesh Bank is directed to issue necessary directions to all the banks and financial institutions of the country asking them to freeze all the accounts of the shareholder-directors and the top executives of the ILFSL.

The concerned persons are: MA Hashem (chairman), M Nurul Alam (director and managing director of Shaw Wallace Bangladesh Ltd), MD Zahirul Alam, FCA (independent director), Nasim Anwar, FCA (independent director), Bashudeb Banerjee (independent director), Papia Banarjee (independent director), Momtaz Begum (independent director), Md Nowsherul Islam (independent director), Md Anwarul Kabir (independent director) and Engineer Md Nuruzzaman (independent director).

The list also included the names of Muhammad Abul Hashem (independent director), Rashedul Haque (managing director of the company), and PK Halder and his relatives, namely, mother-Lilaboti Halder, brother-Pritish Kumar Halder, wife-Susmita Saha, cousins- Amitav Adhikari, and Avijit Adhikari, ex-managing director of Bank Asia Limited Erfanuddin Ahmed and one Uzzal Kumar Nondi.

The High Court also appointed Ibrahim Khaled, former deputy governor of the Bangladesh Bank, as an independent director and chairman of the International Leasing and Financial Services Limited.

Later two shareholder-directors of the ILFSL filed an appeal petition with the Appellate Division against the High Court order. After primary hearing on the appeal petition, the apex court on February 16 sought explanation from Ibrahim Khaled.

Concluding the hearing on the appeal petition on Tuesday, the apex court fixed Wednesday (today) for passing order.

bikashju@gmail.com

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