By: SANTOSHEE GULABKALI MISHRA
An alleged financial scam currently being investigated by the Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai Police has now come under the scanner of the CBI due to the presence of several common links between the EOW’s case and one that the CBI is currently investigating.
Last month, the EOW had arrested four persons – Mohammed Fasihuddin, Avinash Khandagle, Anil Pawar and Roy Joseph Thomas – in connection with a racket that involved setting up over draft accounts against fixed deposits of various organisations, government and private.
In July this year, the CBI’s banking and fraud cell had also booked Vimal Barot, an employee of Fasihuddin’s Showman group, for a similar fraud for cheating the Malabar Hill branch of the Dena bank as well as seven private organisations to the tune of Rs 220 crore, allegedly in connivance with the then branch manager Pritam Nagarkar.
“The fraud that we are investigating is similar in its modus operandi to the one being investigated by the EOW. Barot, according to the complaint by Dena Bank, contacted the seven organisations posing as a representative of the bank and posed as the financial adviser of these companies while interacting with the bank. Through this double fraud, he availed of loans of Rs 220 crore against term deposits of these seven organisations,” said a CBI officer.
Officials said no bank officials had been arrested so far. The CBI officer said that Khandagle, allegedly an expert forger, is also believed to be a common link in both the cases. “We believe that Khandagle forged the documents necessary for Barot and his accomplices to pull off the fraud,” the officer said.
Khandagle, who was arrested last week, is alleged to have forged documents necessary for the accused to avail over draft account facilities in the EOW’s case.