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PTI

The Enforcement Directorate on Sunday said it has arrested six Bangladeshi nationals, some of them "disguised" as Indians with fake IDs, as part of a cross-border money laundering investigation.

The arrested included the "mastermind" of the group, Proshanta Kumar Halder, accused of perpetrating a bank fraud in the neighbouring country to the tune of 10,000 crore Bangladeshi taka.

Halder, who has aliases such as Prashanta Halder and Shib Shankar Halder (Indian identity), has an Interpol issued global arrest warrant against him, the Enforcement Directorate said in a statement. The ED said he held Bangladeshi and Indian passports and another one issued by Grenada.

The others who have been arrested by the federal agency, under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), included Swapan Maitra alias Swapan Mistry, Uttam Maitra alias Uttam Mistry, Imam Hossian alias Imon Halder and Amana Sultana alias Sharmee Halder and Pranesh Kumar Halder.

The ED produced them before a court on Saturday after it conducted raids against them on May 13.

The raids were "carried out at 11 premises linked to Bangladeshi nationals Proshanta Kumar Halder, Pritish Kumar Halder and their associates across the state of West Bengal."

"Proshanta Kumar Halder was found in the disguised identity of Indian citizen as Shibshankar Halder," the ED said.

It was found that Proshanta Kumar Halder along with his associates "fraudulently" obtained Indian government-issued identities such as ration card from the state of West Bengal, voter ID card, PAN (permanent account number) and Aadhaar card, it said.

"ED has ascertained that these Bangladeshi nationals have also managed to float companies in India on the basis of fraudulently obtained identities and have even purchased properties in West Bengal," it said.

The case, it said, is an "offence of cross-border implication under the anti-money laundering law as Proshanta Kumar Halder has been found to be accused in approximately 10000 crore Bangladesh taka worth bank fraud in Bangladesh and alleged to have siphoned off money outside Bangladesh to various countries." 

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