PMC Bank case: One more auditor held

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Published on Nov 14, 2019 12:13 AM IST
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ByVijay Kumar Yadav, Mumbai

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police on Tuesday arrested a third auditor in the 4,355-crore Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank fraud case. This is the eighth arrest in the case. Investigators suspect that the auditors have received 40-60 lakh from the accused to overlook fraudulent banking practices linked to the bank’s biggest client, Housing Development Infrastructure Limited (HDIL).

The latest arrest was of Anita Shankar Kirdat, 48, a chartered accountant (CA) from Bhandup, who runs a firm, Anita Kirdat & Company. She has served as the concurrent auditor of PMC Bank from 2005 to 2019. Kirdat was appointed at the behest of the main accused, former MD of the bank Joy Thomas, ex-chairman Waryam Singh and HDIL’s directors Rakesh Wadhawan and Sarang Wadhawan. She was associated with HDIL. However, the nature of her association with HDIL was not revealed. She allegedly did not observe any discrepancies in the financial affairs of the bank and shielded HDIL’s NPA (non-performing asset) accounts from the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) scanner for a long period. This prompted EOW officials to verify the aspect of quid pro quo. EOW said that she did not follow due diligence and scrutinise the advances of PMC Bank with utmost care.

“Kirdat has done concurrent auditing for PMC Bank more than 150 times, but could not detect discrepancies in the financial affairs of the bank,” said an EOW officer. The police suspect she is part of the overall conspiracy and are questioning her. She was produced in court on Wednesday. The court remanded her in police custody up to November 19.

Before Kirdat, EOW had arrested two auditors — Jayesh Sanghani, 61, of Ashok and Jayesh companies and Ketan Lakdawala of Lakdawala and Associates — on Monday. The probe revealed the two had carried out auditing for PMC Bank for two financial years and deliberately overlooked massive irregularities, EOW said.

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Tuesday, December 07, 2021