A noted industrialist and his son are nowhere to be found in SAS Nagar, and are suspected to have fled to Canada, after defaulting on a bank loan of `22 crore and exploiting the trust of fellow industrialists for another `33 crore.
Sushil Kumar Sharma and his son Ashutosh Sharma - directors of Summit Engineering Private Limited and Lider Sanitation located at D-99, Industrial Area, Phase 7, SAS Nagar, and Faucet India, Baddi (HP) - are absconding for a month now. While some victims, who are members of the Mohali industries Association (MIA), have approached the police, the Punjab and Sind Bank has already taken possession of the Sharmas' units and their house located in the unit building in SAS Nagar.
Running their operations since 1987, they had taken the money with the promise to repay in two or three months as they were planning to enlist on the stock exchange and needed funds for an Initial Public Offering (IPO). What further lent them credence was that Sushil was the president of the Rotary Club Mohali for 2012-13.
The victims have lodged a complaint with senior superintendent of police (SSP) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, who has marked an inquiry to DSP Rajinder Singh Sohal. "We have recorded statements of some victims. We will soon take legal action," Sohal told HT.
The complaint says the duo gave fake balance sheets, stock statements and valuation reports for the bank loan. One of the guarantors, Poonam Sharma, is of unsound mind and thus not competent to stand guarantee or run the business, states the complaint. Industrialist and Rotarian Navneet Saxena said, "I gave the Sharmas `33 lakh, and they promised to repay in two months as they were applying for an IPO. It seems he (Sushil) joined the Rotary Club to hoodwink members."
Another victim, Devinder Rattan, said, "They did not even spare his close relatives. The Sharmas owe `25,000 to the tea vendor next to his unit in SAS Nagar."
Bank taking advice now
PP Singh, chief manager, Punjab and Sind Bank, said "We've taken over the possession their units, but it's not on a par with the amount recoverable. We are taking legal advice." Sources said the loan of `22 crore was much higher than the sanction norms, as the actual turnover of all three units of the Sharmas was no more than `20 crore, making them eligible for only around `5 crore.