PMC Bank fraud case: Wadhwans, Singh’s police custody extended for 2 days
The order by the 47th magistrate court came after Mumbai Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) informed the court that new details have emerged during the investigations.Updated: Oct 14, 2019 17:26 IST
A local court in Mumbai on Monday extended the police custody of the Housing Development Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) directors and Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank Ltd’s former chairman till Wednesday.
HDIL’s Rakesh Wadhwan and Sarang Wadhwan and PMC Banks’ Waryam Singh have been arrested in connection with the Rs 4,355 crore Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank fraud case.
The order by the 47th magistrate court came after Mumbai Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) informed the court that new details have emerged during the investigations.
Wadhawan’s lawyer did not oppose the extension of custody but submitted that EOW has to show some development of the extended remand period.
“The list of all the properties has already been given to EOW, so the question of identification of the properties does not arise. The worth of the properties which is already in charge of PMC is worth more than the exposure to the bank. We have already submitted the list of the same,” the lawyer argued.
“We don’t have a problem with a remand of two more days but they should show some development in these two days, then we will argue,” Waryam Singh’s lawyer also said.
In the future, EOW should not get a chance of arguing that it didn’t get enough remand, the lawyer added.
The additional chief magistrate SG Shaikh asked the EOW official what the police had done in the last 12 days of their custody. The officer responded by saying that new details are emerging every day.
“Now, we know that Thomas has nine properties in Pune. We have to investigate that too,” senior EOW inspector Kishore Parab said.
Parab was referring to Joy Thomas, the suspended managing director of PMC Bank. Thomas is already in police custody up to October 17.
Shaikh then remanded the three into police custody up to Wednesday.
EOW’s SIT officers have found that before PMC Bank, Waryam Singh had worked for many other HDIL Group companies, playing a ‘double role’ in the fraud case. He is suspected of preparing loan proposals for HDIL which he then sanctioned himself.
Singh had also worked with the Wadhwans in some land development projects in Palghar. However, Singh had not disclosed details of HDIL’s business association with him.
EOW claims it is because of Singh, HDIL enjoyed a free hand in the operations of PMC Bank. They also say that Singh and his family members have made huge business investment in the United States during the peak of the alleged fraud.
Their probe has also revealed that the Wadhwans diverted the funds obtained from the PMC Bank and used Rs 90 crore of the loan money to clear their outstanding dues with Bank of India.
The investigators have also learnt that accommodating entries were made in HDIL’s books of accounts in respect of unpaid dues of loan accounts with PMC Bank since 2008 to mislead the Registrar of Companies and many other institutions.
Loan accounts opened by Wadhawans with the PMC Bank were actually drawing overdraft facilities from their current accounts with the PMC Bank, indicating forgery and falsification of KYC documents.
Police are checking whether the accused made any benami properties from the loan money. They are also checking their lockers and accounts with financial institutes.
EOW had registered an FIR on September 30 and formed a special investigation team (SIT) to investigate the biggest banking fraud of the year. Their probe has revealed that the bank unlawfully gave loans to HDIL group of companies causing a loss to the bank’s depositors to the tune of Rs 4,355 crore.