A Kolkata court put Prashant Kumar Halder, also known as PK Halder, accused of embezzling several thousand crores of taka from Bangladesh, on a three-day remand in custody of India's financial intelligence agency Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Sunday.
He has been charged with entering and residing in India illegally, buying property anonymously and laundering money from Bangladesh to India.
He was arrested from North 24 Parganas district in the Indian state of West Bengal on Saturday.
The Kolkata City and Sessions Court put five people – PK Halder and four others arrested along with him – on remand, granting a plea of the ED.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said the government would take legal action to bring back PK Halder after India officially informs Bangladesh about his arrest.
According to Indian media reports, the ED has already taken him into custody and started interrogation. Following the ED's interrogation, PK Halder and his accomplices may be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of India on 17 May after the remand ends.
ED officials said PK Halder went to India and lived there under the name of Shibshankar Halder. He obtained a ration card from West Bengal, an Indian voter card and a Permanent Account Number (PAN) from the Income Tax Department of India.
The ED will also question PK Halder and his accomplices about whether they obtained those cards through any political patronage.
According to the Indian financial intelligence agency, PK Halder used to live in West Bengal using a different name. He was hiding in a house in the Ashok Nagar area of North 24 Parganas district. He has also built 20-22 luxury houses in the area.
Six people, including Halder's lawyer Sukumar Mridha, were arrested last Saturday from Ashok Nagar. The other four arrestees are PK Halder's wife, brother Pranesh Halder and two other persons.
According to the information available to the ED, PK Halder has laundered around Tk300 crore from Bangladesh to India. The money has been used to build luxury houses at different areas, including Ashok Nagar, of 24 Parganas. He has also set up several businesses, reports Bangladeshi private channel Somoy TV.
Meanwhile, replying to a query of reporters after attending a programme at the National Press Club on Sunday, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said, "India has not officially informed us about his arrest. We will start the process to bring him back to the country after being informed officially."
The home minister said that Halder would be brought back to the country as soon as possible under the prisoner exchange agreement to face trial, but could not give any idea about when it would be possible.
According to Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) sources, the agency has so far filed 36 cases against Halder over embezzlement of around Tk2800 crore from four organisations. The charge-sheets of three cases have been prepared so far, which will be submitted soon.
According to the sources, at least 15 more cases could be filed soon over laundering Tk1,000 crore. Enquiries into various other charges are still ongoing. Once all the enquiries end, the number of cases against Halder and his accomplices may exceed 100.
Earlier this year, the ACC filed the charge-sheet in a case against PK Halder on charge of acquiring around Tk426 crore by illegal means and laundering 11.7 million Canadian dollars to Canada.