The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked multiple private companies and former chairman and managing director (CMD) of a public sector bank in two separate cases of bank fraud cumulatively amounting to over Rs 800 crore. One of the cases also involves Punjab National Bank (PNB), which is at the centre of the Rs 12,600-crore Nirav Modi case. In the first case, the agency has booked former CMD of UCO Bank Arun Kaul and others in connection with an alleged loan fraud of Rs 621 crore. It has said the fraud caused a loss of Rs 737 crore to the bank. The agency also carried out searches at 10 locations on Saturday in connection with this case, sources said. Besides Kaul, the agency has also booked Era Engineering Infra India Ltd. (EEIL), its CMD Hem Singh Bharana; two chartered accountants — Pankaj Jain and Vandna Sharda — and Pawan Bansal of Altius Finserve Pvt. Ltd. among others, sources said.
In the PNB case, CBI has registered an FIR against “M/s SSK Trading Pvt. Ltd. its directors, and other unknown public servants/ private persons on the allegations of defrauding PNB and other 05 banks (Central Bank of India, Andhra Bank, Syndicate Bank, Bank of Baroda and Oriental Bank of Commerce) of the consortium, to the tune of Rs. 187.29 Crore (approx),” a CBI statement said.In the UCO bank case, it is alleged that the accused persons in pursuance of criminal conspiracy defrauded the UCO Bank to the tune of Rs 621 crore (approx) by diversion and siphoning of the bank loans, they said.
Kaul, who was CMD of Kolkata-based bank between 2010 and 2015, allegedly facilitated the accused company in obtaining the said loan, they said. It is further alleged that the loan was not utilised for the sanctioned purpose and was secured by producing false end use certificates issued by the Chartered Accountant and by fabricating business data etc.
“Searches are being conducted today at 10 places (08 in Delhi and 02 in Mumbai), which include the office premises of the companies, Chartered Accountants and the residence of the aforesaid accused persons,” the CBI spokesperson said. In its complaint, now part of the FIR, the Bank has alleged that two loans were issued to the company in 2010–Rs 200 crore in March and 450 crore in October.
In the case of Rs 200 crore which was issued for repayment of high cost debt to Central Bank of India, Punjab National Bank and IFCI, it was found that the company did not utilise the amount for the purpose for which it was disbursed and diverted the funds.
“…no amount was used to repay the dues of Central Bank of India and Punjab National Bank while only Rs 59 lakh were repaid towards dues of IFCI while purpose of the loan was to repay the dues of these banks,” it said.
The chartered accountant Pankaj Jain dishonestly and fraudulently did not mention the details of utilisation of term loan in the end use certificate. In the case of loan of Rs 450 crore too, the funds were utilised for purposes other than stipulated in the sanction and the end use certificates given by the chartered account was intentionally ambiguous and against the fact, it alleged.
“The account was declared NPA as on July 7, 2013 by the bank and the present balance as on December 31, 2017 is Rs 737.88 crore,” it alleged.