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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

300 HDIL-linked accounts frozen in PMC Bank case, ex-director in judicial custody

The court also granted Mumbai Police’s economic offences wing (EOW) custody of former director of PMC Bank, Surjit Singh Arora.

mumbai Updated: Oct 18, 2019 07:02 IST
Vijay Kumar Yadav
Vijay Kumar Yadav
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Former managing director of Punjab and Maharashtra (PMC) Bank Joy Thomas was sent to jail on Thursday.
Former managing director of Punjab and Maharashtra (PMC) Bank Joy Thomas was sent to jail on Thursday.(HT Photo )
         

Former managing director of Punjab and Maharashtra (PMC) Bank Joy Thomas was sent to jail on Thursday when a metropolitan magistrate court in Mumbai remanded him in judicial custody for 14 days. The court also granted Mumbai Police’s economic offences wing (EOW) custody of former director of PMC Bank, Surjit Singh Arora. Arora is the only one of 12 directors on the board of the fraud-hit PMC Bank to have been arrested so far.

As part of its investigation into the Rs 4,355-crore fraud, the EOW has frozen close to 300 bank accounts, an EOW officer told HT. These accounts are linked to Housing Development Infrastructure Limited (HDIL); the eight companies from the HDIL group that are named in the first information report filed on September 30; and 34 other companies linked to HDIL that also received loans. The accounts of HDIL directors Rakesh Kumar and Sarang Wadhawan have also been frozen along with those of Thomas and former chairperson of PMC Bank, Waryam Singh.

“Many of these bank accounts are suspected to have been used to route money for HDIL,” said an officer part of the probe. Thomas has told the EOW that he had not declared the loans to HDIL as non-performing assets because he feared this would damage PMC Bank’s reputation and because HDIL had cleared outstanding loans in the past. “He [Thomas] says he was hopeful that they [HDIL] will pay back this time as well,” said the officer and added, “We are not buying all his claims.”

The probe has revealed that Thomas allegedly threatened other bank employees to ensure irregularities at PMC Bank were kept under wraps. The EOW also alleged that Arora had abused his official position to facilitate and cover up the fraud. An SIT officer said “the role of each and every director will be checked”. Mumbai Police is on the lookout for the other 11 directors of the bank.