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Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

In PMC fraud case, Mumbai cops probe ex-chairman’s ‘double role’

EOW officials confirmed on condition of anonymity that they are verifying if the PMC’s money is involved in these investments.

india Updated: Oct 10, 2019 11:49 IST
Vijay Kumar Yadav
Vijay Kumar Yadav
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
To be sure, there are legitimate avenues through which Indians and Indian companies can invest in the US.
To be sure, there are legitimate avenues through which Indians and Indian companies can invest in the US. (HT image)
         

The Economic Offenses Wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police probing the Rs 4,355 crore Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank fraud, has discovered that the bank’s ex-chairman Waryam Singh invested in businesses in the US, as did members of his family, and want to find out whether this was done through the proper channels and without misusing the bank’s funds.

To be sure, there are legitimate avenues through which Indians and Indian companies can invest in the US.

Waryam Singh is among the four people so far arrested in relation to the fraud; Housing Development Infrastructure Limited’s directors Rakesh Wadhwan, Sarang Wadhwan & Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank’s ex-managing directors Joy Thomas have also been arrested.

EOW officials confirmed on condition of anonymity that they are verifying if the PMC’s money is involved in these investments.

Mumbai Police’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) officials said that Waryam Singh worked for many other HDIL group companies in the past. “Singh played a ‘Double Role’ in the fraud. We are trying to establish his links in preparing proposal and getting it sanctioned from the bank by himself,” one officer said on condition of anonymity. 

EOW officials added that Singh worked together with the Wadhwans in land development projects in Palghar.

The EOW officials also claimed that Singh allowed HDIL a free hand in the bank.

They added that investigations have revealed that the Wadhwans diverted the funds obtained from the PMC Bank and used Rs 90 crores of the PMC Bank loan money to clear their outstanding dues with Bank of India.

EOW and SIT officials are checking if the accused bought any properties under other proxies (benami properties) and also the lockers and accounts of the accused with other banks and financial institutions.

An interrogation of the accused has highlighted many aspects of the case including falsification of documents, but, thus far, the accused have not provided convincing explanations on the misuse of funds, another senior EOW officer said.

Singh, Rakesh Wadhwan and Sarang Wadhwan were produced in Esplanade court on Wednesday.

The investigation officer, senior inspector Kishor Parab said in court: “Accused are being confronted to each other for every new revelations. And to further do the same, more custody of the accused is required.”

The defense counsels did not challenge this.

After hearing both the side additional chief metropolitan magistrate S G Shaikh remanded the three accused to EOW’s custody till October 14. The main accused, former managing director of PMC Bank Joy Thomas is already in EOW’s custody till Oct 17.