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CBI issues lookout notice against Punjab CM Capt Amarinder’s son-in-law

Probe into Rs 109-cr bank fraud Agency investigating a UP sugar mill’s alleged fraud with OBC; on March 1, it had questioned Gurpal, a director with the mill.

punjab Updated: Mar 29, 2018 10:14 IST
IANS, New Delhi
CBI,Punjab CM,Capt Amarinder
Gurpal Singh

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has issued a lookout notice against Punjab chief minister Capt AmarinderSingh’s son-in-law Gurpal Singh in connection with an alleged bank fraud case of Rs 109 crore by Simbhaoli Sugars Ltd, an official said on Wednesday. Gurpal is a director with the mill and the agency had questioned him in connection with the case on March 1. Amarinder has refuted allegations of any wrongdoing on the part of his son-in-law.

Simbhaoli Sugars, one of the largest sugar mills in the country in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, and its executives are being probed for cheating Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) in 2011 by availing credit facilities on the pretext of financing sugarcane farmers.

A lookout notice alerts security agencies to restrict domestic and international travel of wanted accused.

The agency has issued the lookout notice against three other former top executives of Simbhaoli Sugars Ltd -- CEO GSC Rao, chief financial officer Sanjay Thapar and executive director Gursimran Kaur Mann. The agency had registered the case against the sugar mill, its chairman Gurmit Singh Mann in 2015. Twelve people were booked.

During the course of its investigation, the CBI had carried out searches at eight premises, including residences of the directors, the factory, the corporate office and the registered offices of the company in Delhi, Hapur and Noida.

Two loans are the focus of CBI probe

The probe focuses on two loans -- Rs 98 crore which was declared fraudulent in 2015 --- and another corporate loan of Rs 110 crore that was used to repay the previous loan. The First-Information Report (FIR) reads that the bank was allegedly cheated to the tune of Rs 98 crore, but the loss incurred by the bank was Rs 109 crore. The OBC complained to the CBI on November 17, 2017, but the agency registered a case of criminal conspiracy and cheating under the Prevention of Corruption Act on February 22 this year.

According to the FIR, OBC sanctioned a loan of Rs 148.6 crore to the company in 2011. The loan was sanctioned for financing 5,762 sugarcane farmers based on an agreement under a Reserve Bank of India scheme for supplying sugar produce to the company from January 25, 2012 to March 13, 2012. This money was ‘dishonestly and fraudulently diverted by the company for its own needs’, the CBI has alleged.

The account turned into a Non-Performing Asset (NPA) on March 31, 2015, and was declared alleged fraud by the bank to the RBI on May 13, 2015, for Rs 98 crore.

In addition to the existing NPA, the bank, under multiple banking arrangements, sanctioned another corporate loan of Rs 110 crore to the company on January 28, 2015, to pay its outstanding loan of Rs 98 crore. The bank adjusted the total liability of Rs 113 crore towards the company through the deposit of the new corporate loan. “This corporate loan, too, turned into an NPA on November 29, 2016,” the CBI has said.

First Published: Mar 29, 2018 10:13 IST