The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday arrested Nagpur industrialist Manoj Jayaswal and his son, Abhishek. Jayaswal’s Abhijeet Group is alleged to have defrauded Canara Bank and Vijaya Bank to the tune of Rs 290.77 crore. Former Canara Bank Deputy General Manager (DGM) T L Pai has been arrested for alleged collusion with the two. The three were produced before a Kolkata court and sent in eight-day custody.
The CBI, which had called the duo to Kolkata for interrogation before arresting them, had registered a case against them in September 2015 for the alleged fraud. The company had taken loans from Bengaluru branches of the banks for a proposed coal-based power project in Bihar’s Banka.
The agency found that the funds from the banks were allegedly diverted through 132 shell companies of the group. Some of the largest non-performing assets on account of group companies of Abhijeet Group are State Bank of India’s Rs 2,200 crore and Axis Bank’s Rs 1,600 crore, sources said.
The case has its origin in the coal scam as Abhijeet Group had created a special purpose vehicle — Jas Infrastructure — which is an accused in a CBI case, with sanctioned credit limit of Rs 5,700 crore for setting up a 1,320-megawatt power plant in Banka after the allocation of Mahuagarhi coal block to the group.
To set up the plant, Jas Infrastructure started giving contracts. One part of the work — erection, procurement and construction (EPC) worth Rs 790 crore was given to its group company Abhijeet Projects, the sources said.
For this, Rs 290 crore was loaned from Canara Bank and Vijaya bank. Abhijeet Projects sublet the work to Simplex Infrastructure Pvt Limited, but the work was never completed, following which both banks filed a complaint with the CBI in 2015.
“During investigation, it was revealed that the said Promoter/Director along with his son, in conspiracy with then DGM and Branch Head, Canara Bank, Prime Corporate Branch, Bengaluru and others allegedly cheated Canara Bank & Vijaya Bank, while executing an EPC contract for setting up of a coal based power project at Banka (Bihar) on behalf of other private Infrastructure and power company also based at Kolkata, another company of the group,” a CBI press note said.
“The private projects company allegedly awarded the civil and structural work of the contract to a private infrastructure company based at Kolkata and executed a contract agreement, as per which the former was required to pay mobilisation advance of Rs 157.9 crore (approx) in five installments and the latter was required to give bank guarantee of the like amount to the former.’’ The IDBI bank had confiscated the Jayaswals’ 10-seater plane earlier following a similar loan default.