The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against BJP’s Mumbai unit general secretary Mohit Kamboj and others for allegedly cheating the state-run Bank of India to the tune of Rs 67.22 crore.
A CBI spokesperson said that the case pertains to alleged fraudulent transactions done by Avyaan Overseas Pvt Ltd (now Bagla Overseas), a gold jewellery exporter, between 2013 to 2018. Kamboj was the managing director at Avyaan Overseas and had also given a personal guarantee to the bank. He resigned from the firm in 2015.
The CBI said it has conducted searches at five places in Mumbai at the residential and official premises of the directors of the company, including Kamboj, which has led to “recovery of certain incriminating documents including property, loan, various bank account details and locker keys”.
According to the FIR filed by the CBI, the bank sanctioned a credit facility of over Rs 60 crore to the company, but the account was declared a non-performing asset in 2015. Subsequently, the bank conducted a forensic audit of the firm, which found that Avyaan Overseas “diverted” a part of the loan funds to help its director buy a property through undisclosed entities. It also found several related party transactions by the firm. For instance, it found that Rs 7 crore and Rs 2 crore were diverted to related parties — BLK Exim and Mishka Gold Jewellery Pvt Ltd respectively. This money was allegedly used to pay for acquiring a property in the name of Kamboj’s wife.
The FIR also mentions the role of a few public servants and bank officials.
Bank of India, in its complaint to the CBI, has said the forensic audit found several other financial irregularities at Avyaan Overseas, including understating creditors, submitting allegedly forged documents with the bank to obtain credit facilities and exports to related parties abroad.
The bank moved the debt recovery tribunal to recover its debt and eventually a one-time settlement of Rs 30 crore was agreed upon by the company. However, since the company account was declared as fraud by the bank based on the forensic audit, the settlement offer was rejected.
Replying to the allegations, Kamboj said, “A compromise in the above loan account has been done in 2018 by paying Rs 30 crore as a one-time settlement of dues. I have also received no dues certificate from Bank of India in March 2019. I don’t know why the bank has gone ahead with this complaint, after two and half years of clearing all dues, they have made the mistake. Nevertheless, I will cooperate with the CBI probe as I have full trust in them.”
Last year, Kamboj was declared a wilful defaulter by Bank of Baroda for non-payment of loans by his firm Avyaan Ornaments.
Kamboj is the general secretary of BJP’s Mumbai unit and was the party’s MLA candidate from Dindoshi Vidhansabha in 2014. He had also changed his last name to Bhartiya in January 2019.
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