The five officials of the banks and Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the cash-for-loan scam claim they were not aware of each other’s relation with the managing director of Money Matters, a financial services firm.
During investigation, the CBI found that despite knowing Rajesh Sharma, chairman and managing director, Money Matters, well and dealing with him closely, the five officials did not know about his other contacts in the industry, which he used to illegally arrange huge amount of loans for corporates.
“It was only when they were remanded to police custody that all of them were together for the first time,” a senior CBI officer said, on condition of anonymity.
The CBI had arrested Naresh K Chopra, secretary (investment) LIC, Mumbai, Ramchandran Nair, director and CEO, LIC Housing Finance, Mumbai, RN Tayal, zonal manager, Bank of India, Chennai, Maninder Singh Johar, chartered accountant and nominated director, Central Bank of India, New Delhi and Venkoba Gujjal, deputy general manager, Punjab National Bank, New Delhi, on November 24.
All these officials are currently out on bail.
The probe agency had also arrested Sharma and his employees Suresh Gattani and Sanjay Sharma. While Gattani and Sanjay were released on bail, Sharma is in judicial custody. Money Matters was the go between the corporates and banks to get big amount of loans sanctioned.
The reason Sharma never revealed his proximity to any officer was to gain his contacts’ confidence. “This way he could make maximum use of the officers in getting loans cleared for bribe,” the officer said.
Another reason, the officer said, was that Sharma didn’t want the officers to know the amount paid to others for clearing certain amount of loans. “The bribe amount varied on the flexibility of the officers involved,” the officer said.