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EOW charge sheet in PMC Bank case likely by Friday

By Vijay Kumar Yadav, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON DEC 26, 2019 12:21 AM IST

The economic offences wing (EOW) is all set to file a charge sheet in the case of the 6,670-crore fraud at Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank.

“My officers have prepared a very comprehensive charge sheet, leaving no room for any aspect of the case to remain unexplored,” said commissioner of police Sanjay Barve told HT.

The charge sheet has been prepared by the special investigating team (SIT).

Senior police inspector Kishore Parab, who has previously worked in the Central Bureau of Investigation’s banking fraud unit, headed the SIT.

The investigation was supervised by joint commissioner of police (EOW) Rajvardhan Sinha and deputy commissioner of police Shrikant Paropkari.

Sources in Mumbai Police’s EOW may file the charge sheet on Friday.

The charge-sheet is likely to be over 8,000 pages long and may include statements from four senior officers of the fraud-hit bank recorded under section 164 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) before metropolitan magistrates. It will also contain statements of over 340 witnesses, including about 100 depositors.

“We have heavily relied on the documentary evidences collected during the course of investigation. These documents pertains to transaction details, misleading audit reports and documents related to various other irregularities surfaced in the forensic audit report,” said a senior police officer.

The fraud at the multi-state co-operative bank came to light in September and revolves around unlawful loans advanced to realty group Housing Development Infrastructure Limited (HDIL).

The principle loan amount of 2,400 crore snowballed into 6,670 crore because HDIL failed to repay multiple loans between 2008 and 2019. Senior management of PMC Bank covered up these irregularities so as to avoid scrutiny by the Reserve Bank of India.

The key accused in the case are HDIL’s promoters Rakesh Kumar and Sarang Wadhawan; former managing director of PMC Bank, Joy Thomas; Waryam Singh and Surjeet Singh Arora who were chairman and director of PMC Bank, respectively. All five were arrested in October and are currently in custody.

The scam is also being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which recently filed its charge sheet in the money-laundering case in the multi-crore PMC scam.

ED had pegged the scam at 6,670 crore. The charge sheet also mentions the “ever-greening” of loans, which is a term for banks propping up ailing companies with fresh loans even as these firms struggle to repay old debts. Over 73% of PMC Bank’s loan exposure was to the now-bankrupt HDIL. On September 30, ED filed a case under the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act (PMLA).

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