THE SPECIAL investigation team (SIT) of Pimpri-Chinchwad police, which built its investigation on audit by a state-appointed auditor into transactions of the Seva Vikas Cooperative Bank, said there were alleged irregularities in loan disbursement to the tune of Rs 429 crore.
The irregularities were found in loans disbursed since 2007. The probe has so far unearthed the role of the bank’s chairman, its 13 members of board of directors, 11 employees and 37 entities that were given the loans. Four of these people are under arrest in the cases previously registered in the issue. These numbers are further expected to go up, officials, who are part of the SIT, said.
The Seva Vikas Cooperative bank, which is headquartered in Pimpri, has 25 branches and around one lakh depositors. In June this year, the Reserve Bank of India appointed an administrator after several cases were filed by depositors in 2019 and 2020 and four of its office-bearers were arrested.
Last year, the Maharashtra government appointed an auditor to probe into the alleged irregularities in disbursal of loans to some particular entities.
The auditor submitted its report last year, following which the Pimpri-Chinchwad police established an SIT, headed by senior inspector Vasant Babar. The SIT probe has revealed serious irregularities in 124 loans. Three fresh FIRs have been registered in the case last week.
“The probe has revealed that the bank officials blatantly ignored several norms in disbursing these loans, including the credit ratings, ability to repay debt obligations, actual values of the mortgages, old unpaid debts along with siphoning, diversion and multi utilisation of the loans by the debtors. The office-bearers also unduly favoured several people,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Sudhir Hiremath.
While appointing the administrator, the RBI had said, “As can be seen from the financial position of the bank from March 31, 2018, to March 31, 2021, percentage of gross and net NPA and CD ratio are at alarmingly high level. Further, the bank itself had reported losses for two years consecutively i.e. for financial position as on March 31, 2020, and March 31, 2021. The net worth of the bank had declined sharply from Rs 88.50 crore as on March 31, 2018, to Rs 50.28 crore as on March 31, 2021. There had been fast and continuous depletion in deposits of the bank and it indicated loss of customers’ confidence in the affairs of the bank.”