Loan scam: J&K Bank officials, illegal beneficiaries booked
The state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has registered a case against the management and officials of J&K Bank in connection with alleged financial irregularities and loan fraud to the tune of ₹177 crore, according to a statement issued by the ACB.
A “surprise check” was conducted by the ACB on various premises in Jammu on Thursday. “It was revealed that various loan facilities were extended to proprietors of a partnership firm Messrs Paradise Avenue during the period 2012 to 2017 in contravention to the laid down norms of the bank, resulting in the loan accounts turning into non-performing assets,” the ACB release said. Those booked also include owners of the beneficiary firm, the agency said.
It was found that the proprietors of the firm approached J&K Bank’s branch at New University Campus Jammu, “for availing loan facility of ₹ 74.27 crore for setting up a residential township complex under the name of ‘Paradise Avenue’..., ” the agency said.
The loan amount was allegedly sanctioned on January 30, 2012 with one of the prerequisite conditions that loan had to be disbursed in a phased manner after securing a margin of ₹ 22.09 crore, including unsecured loan of ₹2 crore from the borrowers on a pro-rata basis, the ACB alleged.
The ACB claimed the loan amount sanctioned by the bank paved the way for the firm to purchase 30 kanals of land from different land owners.
Paradise Avenue firm had many partners, including National Conference leader and former finance minister Abdul Rahim Rather’s son, Hilal Rather. Hilal is the owner of Shree Simula Solutions, a sister firm of Paradise Avenue. Reacting to the ACB raid, he said, “We welcome the investigations and being law abiding citizens would cooperate and extend all support in the due investigations.”
Bank officials could not be reached for comment.
(Agencies contributed to this story)