The Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday conducted searches at 190 locations across 16 states and Union Territories on Tuesday, according to reports. The searches were connected to 42 bank fraud cases worth more than Rs 7,000 crore, PTI reported.
Unidentified officials said the fraud cases pertain to several banks, including the State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Andhra Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Indian Overseas Bank, Allahabad Bank, Canara Bank, Dena Bank, Punjab and Sind Bank, Central Bank of India, Union Bank of India, IDBI Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of Maharashtra and Bank of India.
The operation was conducted by 1,000 officers of the agency. The CBI said in at least four cases, the alleged amount of funds misappropriated was over Rs 1,000 crore.
Searches were conducted in Delhi; Chandigarh, Gurugram and Faridabad in Haryana; Amritsar, Bathinda, Gurdaspur and Ludhiana in Punjab; Dehradun in Uttarakhand; Noida, Kanpur, Chandauli, Varanasi and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh; Baramati, Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan in Maharashtra; and Silvassa in Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The agency conducted the maximum searches – 58 – in Maharashtra, followed by 32 in Punjab.
Some locations in Karnataka’s capital Bengaluru; Tirupur, Chennai and Madurai in Tamil Nadu; Kollam and Kochi in Kerala; Bhavnagar, Surat and Ahmedabad in Gujarat; Bhopal and Morena in Madhya Pradesh; West Bengal and Bihar’s capital cities Kolkata and Patna; Krishna district in Andhra Pradesh; and Hyderabad in Telangana were also searched.
The agency is investigating an alleged scam involving SEL Manufacturing in Bank of Maharashtra worth Rs 113.55 crore, Advance Surfactants’ role in alleged fraud in SBI worth Rs 118.49 crore, and Eskay Knit’s transactions that reportedly caused Dena Bank (now Bank of Baroda) to lose Rs 42.16 crore. The CBI is also looking into alleged fraud by Krishna Knitwear Technology, worth more than Rs 27 crore, in Canara Bank. The agency booked these companies’ directors and promoters in separate cases.
The CBI also charged Advantage Overseas Private Limited’s promoters and directors Shrikant Bhasi, Dinesh Arkot Selvaraj, Manish Kumar Singh, Gagan Sharma and Jijo John for allegedly cheating a State Bank of India branch in Bhopal of Rs 6,000 crore. It registered a separate case against Energo Engineering Projects Private Limited, and its directors for allegedly availing of credit facilities worth Rs 1,290 crore using forged documents. Later, payment defaults allegedly caused the bank to lose Rs 1,266 crore.
The CBI also named Surana Industries in Chennai and its directors Dinesh Chand Surana, Shanti Lal Surana, Gautham Lal Surana, Vijayraj Surana, and others, for allegedly causing a loss of Rs 1,083 crore to a consortium of 12 banks led by IDBI.
The CBI alleged that Varanasi-based JBL Agro Industries, its Chairperson DN Jhunjhunwala and directors SN Jhunjhunwala, Adarsh Jhunjhunwala and Anju Jhunjhunwala allegedly submitted forged stock statements and balance sheets to induce the Bank of Baroda and Punjab National Bank into providing each of them credit facilities of Rs 518 crore. These later turned into losses for the banks.
The CBI also booked Shree Nath Jee Roller Flour Mills and its directors Amarchand Gupta, Ramlal Gupta, Rajkumar Gupta and Shakuntala Devi for allegedly siphoning off Rs 149.76 crore of loan funds from Andhra Bank.