Mumbai Police Thursday arrested Rakesh Wadhawan and his son Sarang, promoters of Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL), in connection with the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank case.
The duo was called in for questioning Thursday morning by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police. They were arrested late in the afternoon after police said they “did not cooperate with the probe”.
Police said they also found 44 “masked bank accounts” in the bank that were allegedly held by the Wadhawans and HDIL-linked companies. An officer said only a “few bank employees known to be close to former MD of PMC Bank Joy Thomas” knew the passwords to access these accounts.
JCP (EOW) Rajwardhan confirmed the arrests of the Wadhawans in the case. An officer said police found records of alleged direct transfers from the bank to the personal accounts of the Wadhawans that were password-protected.
On Monday, police had registered an FIR against Rakesh Wadhawan, executive chairman of HDIL; Sarang, vice chairman and managing director of HDIL; Joy Thomas, former managing director of PMC Bank; Waryam Singh, chairman of PMC Bank; and, unidentified employees of the bank and HDIL.
In the FIR, police said the actions of the accused allegedly led to bank losses totalling Rs 4,355.46 crore.
“During investigation, we found that there were nearly 44 accounts at the bank that were password-protected. These accounts were linked to the Wadhawans and DHIL-linked entities where a lot of the money from the bank had been transferred,” the officer claimed.
Police also carried out searches at the residence of Waryam Singh and claimed to have identified demat accounts totalling a notional amount of Rs 100 crore. “The demat accounts have been frozen. We are also in the process of completing its valuation,” the officer said.
According to police, Thomas had been served summons but has not appeared before them so far. “We have also carried out provisional attachment of his property and frozen his bank account,” the officer said.
Apart from this, the officer said, police have also provisionally seized property allegedly belonging to HDIL worth Rs 3,500 crore, including land, residential properties and commercial projects. “We are checking the titles of these properties to see if they were kept as collateral in any other bank. As of now, they appear to have been mortgaged to PMC Bank,” the officer said.
Police had first registered an offence on a complaint from the RBI following the collapse of the bank. The RBI had stepped in and placed restrictions on withdrawals after the crisis at the bank came to light last week mainly due to alleged under-reporting of Non-Performing Assets (NPA).