3 arrested in ₹290 crore bank loan fraud in Mumbai
They were arrested in a case registered by Axis bank Ltd, on May 12, 2017 with the NM Joshi Marg police.mumbai Updated: Mar 19, 2018 11:31 IST
The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police have arrested three people in a Rs290-crore fraud, in which Axis bank has allegedly been duped by four directors of a city-based company.
The arrested are directors of various firms — Bhawarlal Bhandari, 46, Premal Goragandhi, 40 and Kamlesh Kanungo, 41— and are said to have helped the key accused, from Parekh Alluminex Ltd, obtain funds from the bank illegally.
The bank registered the case with the NM Joshi Marg police on May 12, 2017. The case was later transferred to the EOW.
The case names Amitabh Parikh, Rajendra Gothi, Devanshu Desai, Kiran Parikh and Vikram Mordani, then directors of Parekh Alluminex Ltd. On January 8, 2013, one of the accused, Amitabh Parikh, passed away, after which the company reportedly stopped loan repayment to the bank.
In 2010, Axis bank had given Parekh Alluminex Ltd Rs125 crore in short-term loans, which were duly repaid. Later, between 2011 and 2013, the accused once again availed a number of short loans and credit facilities from the bank, totalling Rs290 crore. The firm availed the facility of letter of credit (LC) for Rs240 crore from Axis bank and another Rs50 crore LC from Federal bank. The banks restructured the loans so that the firm could repay it. However, there were no repayments, and the loans were declared as non-performing assets.
“The bank’s internal probe concluded that the loan amount given to the firm was diverted to the company’s loan accounts maintained with other banks and was used for purposes other than what it was taken for. To get the loans, the names and documents of many firms were misused by the accused,” said an officer, requesting anonymity.
Investigations revealed recently that Bhandari was one of the directors of Trisons Metalex Private Ltd, which was the beneficiary of Rs70crore, availed in the form of two LCs dated January 24, 2013, opened by Parekh Alluminex Ltd. He participated in layering and diverting the defrauded sum and acted on instructions of Kanungo, who was controlling all business activities when the alleged fraud took place. He was the director of Sikkim Ferro Allys Private Ltd, which was the end beneficiary of the defrauded amount and was allegedly involved in fund diversion.
Goragandhi was the director of Surya Kiran Ferro Alloys Private Ltd, which was the beneficiary of Rs50crore, availed through four LCs opened by Parekh Alluminex Ltd.
“The probe is on and more arrests are likely in the case,” the officer said.