A third loan fraud in less than a month, after Nirav Modi and Rotomac owner Vikram Kothari, Kolkata based firm has allegedly siphoned off Rs. 600 crore from a consortium of banks
The Hush Post: Once a close associate of Mamata Banerjee, Shibaji Panja has been booked in another bank fraud totalling to the tune of Rs 600 crore by the CBI. Canara Bank has got a complaint registered against Kolkata-based computer manufacturers RP Infosystem and its directors with Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for their involvement into loan frauds.
The complaint says that the company and its directors Shibaji Panja, Vinay Bafna, Kaustuv Ray along with some officials carried out a fraud by drawing loans from a couple of banks against false stocks and other documents which were forged.
Senior officials of the bank from Bangalore have confirmed that Canara Bank has Rs 40 crore exposure to the fraud. There could be criminal connivance between the company, its directors and some bank staff, the complaint alleges.
Canara Bank was part of the banking consortium while IDBI Bank was the lead bank. Other lenders of the consortium happened to be Allahabad Bank, Central Bank of India, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Punjab National Bank, Union Bank, Federal Bank of India and State Bank of India.
The first bank to move the CBI was the IDBI Bank against RP Infosystem and its directors in 2015 for carrying out a fraud worth Rs 180 crore. After that there was a lull but more recently fresh complaints from the consortium of banks came up.
“We have moved CBI once again as a matter of technicality following vigilance norms,” the Canara Bank has said.
Apart from the IDBI, other lending bank have a total exposure of Rs 600 crore. SBI has about Rs 170 crore exposure to anticipated fraud, PNB has Rs 70 crore exposure while Allahabad Bank has about Rs 40 crore anticipated fraud. The loans which were disbursed in 2012 have ever since turned into non-performing assets.
After the PNB bank fraud and Rotomac owners Vikram Kothari’s bank fraud this is the third such complaint in less than 30 days in which hundreds of crores could be lost.