PF scam: EOW questions representatives of three brokerage firmsUpdated: Nov 18, 2019 22:44 IST
The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) on Monday questioned representatives of three brokerage firms that were allegedly paid huge commissions for investing the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd employees’ provident fund in the Mumbai-based Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL), an official privy to the investigation said.
The EOW had summoned representatives of five firms, of which three were questioned on Monday while two will be quizzed on Tuesday, the official added.
During the questioning in Lucknow, the EOW asked representatives of the brokerage firms whether they (brokerage firms) were aware of the fact that UPPCL was not authorised to invest in PNB Housing Limited and LIC Housing Limited, the official said. To this, they denied having done a fact-check, he added.
The EOW also asked about the officials they met for investment, an official added. An EOW official said after the promoters’ addresses were traced, they were issued notices on Friday and asked to record their statements in connection with the multi-crore PF scam.
“The EOW team can also visit Delhi in search of the promoters of six other brokerage firms involved in the investment process,” he said.
The officer said that so far the promoter of one of these brokerage firms, Ashish Chowdhary, had been arrested in connection with the scam. This is in addition to four other arrests made in the case. They include former UPPCL managing director AP Mishra, former UPPCL finance director Sudhanshu Dwivedi, former secretary of the employees’ trust Praveen Kumar Gupta, and Gupta’s son Abhinav.
The official said the probe so far had revealed that over ₹65 crore (₹650 million) was paid in commission to 14 brokerage firms hired to invest ₹4,122.5 crore (over ₹ 40 billion) of the UPPCL employees’ PF in multiple short-term fixed deposits (FDs) with the DHFL since March 2017.
“This amount was transferred to 14 different bank accounts of these brokerage firms, 12 of which had fake addresses. They were floated only for investing the employees’ PF,” the officer said.