Firm alleges being duped by individuals in Arunachal

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, 16 Jul: Vidya Amarnath, the managing director of Chennai-based investment and finance firm Paterson & Co, took Twitter by storm, alleging that many individuals, including All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) president Hawa Bagang, duped her company of Rs 12.45 crores.

It is reported that a case (No 05/2019 u/s 120 (B)/468/420/406/34 IPC) was registered by the crime branch after receiving an FIR from one M Amarnath of Paterson & Co on 30 July, 2019.

In the FIR, M Amarnath claimed that in December 2018 one Venkatesh, a friend and a consultant, introduced one Arun Kumar Singh as an ex-employee of the police department under deputation to the CBI. Venkatesh informed that Arun Kumar was his acquaintance in Itanagar since 2012.

“Arun Kumar Singh brought one Rohit Das, representing M/s Loma Yama Enterprises,” Amarnath said.

“This firm was said to have bagged an order from the state’s director of health services, requiring supply of medical and surgical equipment, for which funding was required for the purpose of procurement of the supplies, and the tenure of this funding arrangement was for a short period of three months,” Amarnath stated in the FIR.

“Placing our trust on the persons mentioned above, we advanced a total sum of Rs 12.45 crores on dates as mentioned herein: Rs 1.50 crore on 27/12/2018; Rs 35 lakhs on 05/01/2019; Rs 7 crores on 21/01/2019; and Rs 3.60 crores on 06/03/2019.

“It was mutually agreed that the balance amount required for the procurement would be brought in by M/s Loma Yama Enterprises. Repeated efforts to recover these sums resulted in Rohit Das flaunting a cheque for Rs 60 crores drawn on the Arunachal Pradesh State Cooperative Apex Bank Ltd, signed by the director of health & family welfare in Naharlagun, a copy of which was furnished to us,” Amarnath claimed in his FIR.

Amarnath’s wife, Vidya Amarnath, claimed that “the firm extended finance to the tune of Rs 12.45 crores to execute the supply of medical and surgical equipment as per the contract bagged by Loma Yama Enterprises, which was owned by Bagang, from the DHS, GoAP.”

Vidya further claimed that her company had deputed K Venkatesh as a representative of the firm to Itanagar to supervise the contract-related supply.

“We agreed for the venture and extended finance to the tune of Rs 12.45 crores between December ’18 and March ’19. The funds were sent from our bank account to Loma Yama’s bank account through RTGS,” Vidya claimed.

“The funding arrangement was for a very short period of about three months. When we landed in Itanagar with an agreement, it was not signed, citing the forthcoming payment from the government by 31 March, 2019. In lieu of this agreement, two blank cheques were handed to us,” she added.

She went on to claim that the supply order issued by the director of health services was found to be fake, adding that the trading licence of Rohit Das, who was supposedly representing Loma Yama Enterprises, was also later proved to be fake.

She also claimed that “the money sent by us to the bank has been distributed to 43 beneficiaries. The bank account was opened in the name of Loma Yama Enterprises, with fake records and the account has been introduced by the son of a sitting MLA, Nikh Kamin.

This MLA was introduced as ‘urban development minister’, and a photo shoot was also done with the above three persons,” she alleged.

“We have reported that M/s Loma Yama Enterprises through its representatives obtained finance by producing fake government orders. But the FIR has not been made specifically against this firm. The owner of this firm has not been apprehended. Arun Kumar Singh claimed to be an officer of the CBI but was found to be a junior staffer under suspension, belonging to the police headquarters, Itanagar. The Aadhaar card of Rohit Das bears the address of the MLA. This MLA, Nikh Kamin, has received Rs 20 lakhs from the funds sent to Loma Yama Enterprises,” Vidya claimed.

When this daily accessed a copy of the SIT’s chargesheet filed by DSP Make Bui before the high court, it was found that the SIT could not establish evidence as claimed by M Amarnath in his FIR against AAPSU president Hawa Bagang. Instead, it was found that Bagang’s name and his firm, Loma Yama Enterprises, were misused repeatedly by Rohit Das.

When directed by the high court to produce the status report, the SIT filed an affidavit, detailing the facts before the court.

The SIT informed the court that, during the course of investigation, all alleged persons named in the FIR were arrested “and it was established that there is no work order of supply for procuring surgical equipment by district medical officer, Bordumsa, Changlang district, Arunachal Pradesh.”

The chargesheet did not name former MLA Nikh Kamin anywhere.

“The cheque of Rs 60 crores in favour of M/s Loma Yama Enterprises signed by the director of health & family welfare, Naharlagun (AP) is fake, and there is no firm registered at the office of the Itanagar Municipal Corporation, Naharlagun, under the banner of M/s Loma Yama Enterprises with one Akash Dolo as its proprietor,” the SIT stated.

It said “the trading licence of Akash Dolo is also fake and no person by the name Akash Dolo could be traced out. All the documents along with transaction details of bank account No 880100301001095 was obtained from Vijaya Bank, Itanagar, and out of 44 beneficiaries in whose accounts the money was transferred, 16 beneficiaries were already examined, while the rest are being summoned to join the investigation,” the SIT added.

The SIT also informed the high court that conman Rohit Das was arrested after receiving the FIR from Amarnath, and after recording his statement, he was released on bail as per the order of the court. However, regular bail petition of the accused was objected to by the police and the prosecution in the court, and his bail was cancelled.

“On rejection of bail, Rohit Das along with his accomplices Arun Kumar Singh and Rupam Saikia went underground. A non-bailable warrant of arrest was obtained against them. Finally, the accused Arun Kumar Singh was arrested on 22 October, 2019, from Bihar by a team of a special unit and produced before the court of the chief judicial magistrate in Papum Pare district on 28 October, 2019.

“He was thoroughly interrogated and his statement was recorded. Later, he was sent to judicial custody on 11 November, 2019. Further, his bail was objected to on two occasions by the CBPS (SIT). However, he was released on bail in December 2019,” the SIT said.

The other accomplice, Rohit Das, was arrested on 20 October, 2019. He was thoroughly interrogated and his statement was recorded. He was released on bail on 8 November, 2019, by the court on medical grounds,” the SIT informed.

It added that the case is “currently pending for collection of account details and identity and examination of the rest of the beneficiaries in whose account amounts were transferred and examination of the seized audio disc containing telephonic conversation between M Amarnath, K Venkatesh, Rohit Das and Arun Kumar Singh and further sending it to FSL for scientific examination.”