Two more people arrested for duping Public Health Foundation of India of Rs22.32 crore

mumbai Updated: Apr 19, 2018 11:06 IST
Vijay Kumar Yadav
Vijay Kumar Yadav
Hindustan Times

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police has arrested two more people for allegedly duping a non-governmental organisation in Delhi, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), of Rs22.32 crore.

According to the banking unit of EOW which investigated the case, Arunkumar Mudaliar, 32, and Rahul Gohil, 36, were part of a criminal conspiracy and posed as authorised executives of the organisation and without its knowledge. They fraudulently used PHFI’s fixed deposit for their own gain, said an EOW officer.

EOW sources said that the duo is facing at least 16 such cases for duping many organisations of several crores using similar modus operandi. Mudaliar and Gohil were arrested on Monday.

The mastermind of the fraud, Vimal Barot, and Goregaon Amrita Mathews, former manager of a private sector bank, were already arrested in the case. Barot is closely associated with Mohammed Fasiuddin, who’s in jail facing several banking frauds, cheating and FD fraud cases.

The EOW booked all accused for cheating, on the complaint of Amit Chaturvedi of PHFI in 2014. PHFI, which was launched on March 28, 2006 by then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, focusses on building institutional capacity to strengthen education, training, research and policy development in the area of public health.

The investigation has revealed that the accused Gohil, former employee of Barot, approached PHFI in November 2013, posing as a manager of a public sector bank (Malad). He offered them good interest on fixed deposit, said another EOW officer. Convinced, PHFI then deposited Rs25crore with the bank in FD.

The accused kept the original FD receipt with themselves and sent a bogus receipt to PHFI through courier.

“Mudaliar and Mathews posed as authorised executives of PHFI, produced the original FD receipt at the Malad band, mortgaged the FD (of Rs25crore) and managed to get OD (overdraft) facility. They then transferred Rs22.32 crore to another current account opened in the same bank in the name of PHFI with the help of bogus documents and forged signatures,” said the officer.

Later, money from this current account was transferred to the bank accounts of 19 companies by Barot and Mathews. When PHFI learnt about, it lodged a complaint with EOW.

The investigators found Barot was the mastermind. Barot, vice-president of an events and hospitality service provider in Mumbai, was earlier arrested in 2014 for duping another public sector bank of Rs220 crore. His associate Fasiuddin was in the past arrested for cheating an educational society of Rs4 crore and is facing many cases, including some investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

First Published: Apr 19, 2018 01:18 IST