In 6,000 crore PMC bank fraud, 32,959-page charge sheet filed against 5 accused
The economic offences wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police submitted a charge sheet to the metropolitan magistrate court on Friday, in the case of the Rs 6,670-crore fraud at Punjab Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank. The 32,959 page-charge sheet has statements of 340 witnesses, including 90 depositors and 10 PMC Bank employees.
The charge sheet has identified the key accused as Rakesh Kumar and Sarang Wadhawan, promoters of Housing Development Infrastructure Limited (HDIL); former managing director of PMC Bank, Joy Thomas; Waryam Singh former chairman of PMC Bank; and Surjeet Singh Arora, former director of PMC Bank. All five were arrested in October. A charge sheet against the seven other arrested accused is expected to be filed within the next two months.
EOW joint commissioner of police Rajvardhan Sinha said, “We have added sections 477 A (falsification of accounts) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) in the charge sheet.”
Initially, the accused were booked for cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy on a complaint by Jasbir Singh Matta, who was authorised by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
As per Matta’s allegations, the first information report said that between 2008 to 2019, the five accused caused wrongful loss to the tune of Rs 4, 355 crore by facilitating loans to the HDIL group of companies and other unknown entities and in return made gains out of it. (HT has a copy of the FIR.) During investigations by EOW, the amount went up to Rs 6,670 crore.
“We have submitted the interim forensic report as proof and other evidence to corroborate the allegations in the FIR. The three accused – Thomas, Arora and Singh –have made monetary gains collectively running way over Rs 10 crore,” said an official privy to developments.
To camouflage loans extended to HDIL, the accused made 21, 049 fictitious loan accounts so the defaulting loan accounts would be camouflaged when reports were being submitted to RBI. “We recorded statements of 15-odd witnesses whose details were used to make fictitious accounts. These were dormant accounts closed several years ago, and the actual account holders had no idea about it,” said an EOW official.
Among the witnesses are four senior officers of the fraud-hit bank whose statement was recorded under section 164 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). “These four officials have given detailed information of the entire fraud and their statements have made our case very strong,” said the official.