The CBI on Wednesday arrested CEO of LIC Housing Finance Ramachandran Nair and seven others including three top officials of public sector banks in connection with an alleged housing finance racket.
Apart from Nair, those arrested are Naresh K Chopra, Secretary (Investment), LIC, R N Tayal, General Manager of Bank of India (Delhi), Maninder Singh Johar, Director (Chartered Accountant) of Central Bank of India, Venkoba Gujjal and Deputy General Manager of Punjab National Bank (Delhi).
Rajesh Sharma, Chairman and Managing Director of Mumbai-based firm Money Matters Ltd and two of its employees -- Suresh Gattani and Sanjay Sharma-- were among those arrested, CBI said.
The officials allegedly colluded with the firm to sanction large scale corporate loans, overriding mandatory conditions for such approvals along with other irregularities.
"The CBI has busted a racket wherein a private financial services company, its CMD and other associates were allegedly bribing senior officials of public sector banks and financial institutions for facilitating large scale corporate loans," CBI spokesman R K Gaur said in a statement.
"Officers of top management and middle management of various public sector banks and financial institutions viz. Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, LIC and LIC Housing Finance Ltd were receiving illegal gratifications from the private financial services company who were acting as mediators and facilitators for corporate loans and other facilities from financial institutions," he said.
"They were also gathering confidential business information from financial institutions," Gaur said.
Searches were conducted at various locations in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Jaipur, Kolkata and Jalandhar, which have resulted in seizure of incriminating documents.
The CBI has registered five separate cases in this regard and investigation is in progress, the spokesman said.