The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of UP Police on Thursday arrested two more persons in connection with the alleged UPPCL provident fund (PF) scam, taking the total number of arrests to five in the case.
Abhinav Gupta, son of a former secretary of the power employees’ trust, and broker Ashish Chaudhary were arrested on the charge of criminal conspiracy.
Earlier, Abhinav’s father Praveen Kumar Gupta was arrested along with former UPPCL director (finance) Sudhanshu Dwivedi on November 3, on the basis of an FIR registered at Hazratganj police station of Lucknow on November 2. Two days after their arrest, former UPPCL managing director (MD) A P Mishra was also arrested.
Provident fund worth Rs 2,600 crore of the employees of Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) was allegedly invested in scam-hit Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL) in 2017-18.
Abhinav was arrested this evening following an interrogation. He earlier had recorded his statement at the EOW office on Tuesday.
According to the EOW officers, there are evidence showing Abhinav’s involvement in mediating with brokerage firms, which secured the PF investment deal with the private company, DHFL.
Another accused nabbed on Thursday, Ashish, runs a brokerage firm involved in the deal.
EOW Director General (DG) Rajendra Pal Singh said that Ashish had set up a brokerage firm only for this deal and a sum of around Rs 11-12 crore were transferred through it.
Sources at the EOW said that most of the brokerage firms mentioned in documents recovered from the trust office during raids have been found to be non-existent and evidences suggest Abhinav’s role in the same.
Sources added that as per evidences, Abhinav took commission for the deal and invested the amount in real estate.
The EOW had been looking for Abhinav since a search at Praveen Kumar’s house in Agra where they reportedly found clues suggesting his role in the scam, an officer said.
Earlier, following the arrest of Mishra on November 5, DG Singh had said that as per the investigation, on April 21, 2014, the board of trustees decided that non-bank high-interest options can be considered for investment and the then director (finance) was appointed to make a decision on this.
“Later, on March 15, 2017, a quotation was taken from the DHFL, besides other banks and organisations the next day. On the same day (March 16), Mishra tendered his resignation. On March 17, 2017, a sum of Rs 18 crore was given to DHFL as part of the first installment. More installments were made till December last year,” the DG had told the media.
Aparna U, who was the UPPCL MD when the FIR was registered, has already been transferred, and M Devaraj has taken her place.
Meanwhile, several UPPCL power employees and their family members took to the streets of Lucknow on Thursday to protest the alleged scam, with an organisation, representing them, calling for a two-day strike. “Employees demand that the UP government guarantee payment of provident fund and arrest a former CMD of the UPPCL,” said a member of Vidhyut Karamchari Syankut Sangharsh Samiti, which organised the protest rally from Hydel field hostel to Shakti Bhawan in the state capital.