The Andheri police have arrested two men for allegedly illegally acquiring Rs 75 lakh and depositing it into the bank accounts of three other individuals. The money is part of the nearly Rs 4-crore amount allegedly siphoned from the accounts of a private firm by one of its directors.
According to the police, Chetan Shah, 45, and Jayesh Bhat, 55, were arrested on Monday. Shah and Bhat are partners in a Borivali-based real estate firm named Ganesh Developers. Both were remanded in judicial custody until June 17 after they were produced before a magistrate at the Andheri court Thursday.
The case dates back to December 2008 when Arvindkumar Shah, a director at a Fort-based heavy electrical lighting firm Genelec Pvt Ltd filed a criminal case against fellow director Vinod Faria and an employee, Udaykumar Biswas, for usurping Rs 4.5 crore from the firm’s account in the nationalised bank and disposing it of through 15 cheques made out to individuals not connected with the firm.
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According to a remand application submitted to the court on Thursday, Genelec had gone bankrupt and taken loans of Rs 3.5 crore between 2006 and 2007. At the same time, the firm also sold a factory measuring 8170 square metres for Rs. 6.17 crore.
“The firm’s board of directors had also made Faria and Biswas its authorised signatories,” said Nandkumar Dhumal, senior inspector, Andheri police station.
Dhumal said the move backfired when the board discovered that Faria and Biswas had not been paying the bank the money the firm owed. On inspecting the account, the board found that Rs 15 crore had been removed in 15 cheques. Further investigation revealed that another payment of Rs 80 lakh was never taken out of the firm’s account, bringing the total amount under investigation to Rs. 3.86 crore.
Of the Rs 75 lakh that they received, the police said, Shah and Bhat had given Rs 40 lakh to Faria’s son Mayur Faria, Rs 23 lakh to a man named Natwar Patel and Rs 21 lakh to Davara Properties owned by Mahesh Thakkar. “We have arrested 11 people in this case so far. Further investigation is under way,” Dhumal said.