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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

EOW: Singh worked with Wadhawans for 19 years

Former chairperson knew the family since 1997

mumbai Updated: Oct 11, 2019 00:43 IST
Vijay Kumar Yadav
Vijay Kumar Yadav

The former chairperson of Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank, Waryam Singh, is emerging as a key figure in the ₹4,355-crore alleged fraud that is being investigated by Mumbai Police’s economic offences wing (EOW). The EOW suspects Singh may have been a key conduit between PMC Bank and Housing Development & Infrastructure Limited (HDIL).

On Thursday, the EOW seized PMC Bank’s server from its head office in Bhandup, which may have loan sanctioning details and other evidence. “To ascertain Singh’s role, the investigators have obtained the minutes of the board of meetings of PMC Bank for the respective period when the bank sanctioned loans to the HDIL, and will scrutinize them,” said an EOW officer.

The EOW suspects Singh facilitated the sanctioning of HDIL’s loan proposals as chairperson of PMC Bank, at the behest of HDIL promoters, Rakesh Kumar and Sarang Wadhawan.

Singh’s relationship with the Wadhawan family dates back to the 1990s. In January 1997, Singh was appointed one of the directors of Dewan Housing Finance Limited (DHFL).

The Wadhawan family divided its group business between the two brothers, Rakesh Kumar and Rajesh Wadhawan. DHFL’s mortgage business went to Rajesh while the real estate business, HDIL, was Rakesh’s.

Over the years, Singh has been associated with numerous HDIL companies, including Satyam Realtors Private Ltd (December 26, 2005 to October 22, 2009) and Sapphire Land Development Private Limited (Oct 10, 2006 to Oct 31, 2006). Both these companies have been named in the first information report filed last week for allegedly availing unlawful loans from PMC Bank where the companies’ outstanding balances till August 31, 2019 were ₹129.46 crore and ₹145.59 crore respectively.

Investigators are also probing what role Singh played in the HDIL companies, Privilege Airways Pvt Ltd and Broadcast Initiative Pvt Limited. Sources said Singh may have been have facilitated dialogue between several state governments and HDIL to set up projects.

The EOW also suspects that Singh, who was appointed chairperson of PMC Bank in January 2015, worked at the behest of HDIL. At the time, Singh was also appointed director in 12 HDIL companies. The bank’s board of directors has been summoned to find out how Singh was appointed chairperson.

First Published: Oct 11, 2019 00:43 IST

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