CBI registers four separate cases of bank fraud; conducts searches

New Delhi, Jan 6 (PTI): The CBI has booked Ahmedabad-based Electrotherm (India) Ltd and its four directors for allegedly cheating Bank of India to the tune Rs 631.97 crore in connection with credit facilities taken during 2012-16, officials said on Thursday.

Besides the company, the agency also named its managing directors/guarantors Shailesh Bhanwarlal Bhandari and Avinash Prakashchandra Bhandari, director/guarantor Mukesh Bhanwarlal Bhandari and whole time director Narendra Babubhai Dalal Dalal in the FIR as accused, they said.

“It was further alleged that during the period 2012 to 2016, the directors of the borrower company were enjoying fund-based and non-fund based credit facilities from Bank of India.

The forensic audit of the company (conducted by the bank) revealed that the company was allegedly involved in diversion and siphoning off funds through its subsidiary and associate companies which were having common directors,” a CBI spokesperson R C Joshi said.

Following the registration of the FIR, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) recently conducted searches at six locations in Ahmedabad at the premises of the accused, he said.

“The company was also allegedly involved in transactions with suspicious dealers involved in issuing false bills without actual delivery of goods. It was also alleged that the company started facing liquidity problems and failed to pay the dues to the bank. Subsequently, the account was classified as non performing asset (NPA) with outstanding amount of Rs 631.97 crore (approximately), thereby, causing loss to the Bank of India,” Joshi said.

In a separate case, the CBI also booked Prakasam-based B.K.Threshers Private Ltd, its chairman and five directors for allegedly cheating Union Bank of India to the tune of Rs 228.02 crore by diversion of loan funds.

It was alleged that the said private company and its directors in conspiracy with others fraudulently availed credit facilities by submitting false/manipulated financial statements, diverted loan proceeds and thereby, caused loss of Rs 228.02 crore (approimately) to the bank, the spokesman said.

In the FIR, the CBI has named the company, its chairman Bellam Kotaiah, and directors Bellam Jayanth Babu, Makkena Hari Babu, Bellam Aruna, Makkena Swaroop Chowdhry and Bellam Ravi Chandra, officials said.

Two other companies — B. K. Exports and Mahi Agro Private Limited — are also listed as accused in the FIR, they said.

“Searches were conducted at eight places, including in Prakasam district (Andhra Pradesh) which led to recovery of incriminating documents,” Joshi said.

The CBI has also registered two more separate cases of bank fraud against Hyderabad-based Vijaya Aero Blocks Pvt. Ltd for allegedly cheating Bank of Baroda to the tune of Rs 44 crore by diversion of loans availed between 2014 and 2017; and Raisen, Madhya Pradesh-based Vindhya Cereals Pvt Ltd for allegedly cheating Punjab National Bank to the tune of Rs 35 crore.

The probe agency also carried out searches in both these cases at the premises of their accused directors, they said.