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ED arrests ex-MLA in 512.54-cr bank fraud

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials on Tuesday night arrested former member of legislative assembly (MLA) from Panvel, Vivekanand Shankar Patil, in the 512
By Vijay Kumar Yadav, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JUN 16, 2021 12:17 AM IST

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials on Tuesday night arrested former member of legislative assembly (MLA) from Panvel, Vivekanand Shankar Patil, in the 512.54-crore Karnala Nagari Sahakari Bank scam. He will be produced in a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on Wednesday.

Patil, is a three-term MLA from Panvel constituency from Peasants and Workers Party of India and is the chairman of the bank, which has its headquarters in Panvel. ED’s case is based on the Panvel City police station’s February 2020 FIR in which Patil and 75 others were booked. The accused involved bank’s vice-chairman Subhash Deshpande, chief executive officer Hemant Sutane and 12 directors of the bank.

In March 2019, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had flagged 58 suspicious accounts in the bank and instructed the Commissioner for Cooperation and Registrar, Cooperative Societies (CC and RCS) to look into the accounts. The district special audit was initiated by a government auditor who submitted his report to the CC and RCS, Maharashtra, with the findings. The case was lodged after the audit report revealed that since 2013, Patil allegedly created several fake bank accounts to facilitate at least 63 loans to bogus firms and persons without any valid documentation.

As per the complaint, the accounts which were given loans were either of Patil’s close friends or relatives. The loan limit to these accounts was increased gradually and the sanctioned loan amount was diverted to Karnala Charitable Trust and Karnala Sports Academy, both run by Patil.

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