CBI files case against Vadodara firm for Rs 2,654 cr fraud

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CBI files case against Vadodara firm for Rs 2,654 cr fraud
CBI files case against Vadodara firm for Rs 2,654 cr fraud

New Delhi : The CBI on Thursday said it has filed a case against Vadodara-based Diamond Power Infrastructure Ltd (DPIL) and its directors for defrauding a consortium of 11 banks of Rs 2,654.40 crore.

Apart from DPIL, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR filed on March 26 includes the names of firm's founder Suresh Narain Bhatnagar and his sons Amit Suresh and Sumit Suresh.

The FIR also mentions some unidentified public servants. The CBI has reportedly conducted searches at the corporate office, two factory premises and at the residences of the directors of the firm. The loan, it said, was declared a non-performing asset (NPA) in 2016-17.

DPIL, which is engaged in the production of cables and other electrical equipment, through its management has fraudulently availed credit facilities from a consortium of 11 banks since 2008, leaving behind a total outstanding debit of Rs 2,654.40 crore as of June 29, 2016, according to the FIR.

The company managed to get term loans and credit facilities, in spite of the fact that they were already appearing in the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)'s list of defaulters and the caution list of Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGCI) at the time of initial sanction of credit limits by the consortium, it said.

At the time of consortium's formation in 2008, Axis Bank was the lead bank for the term loan and the Bank of India was the lead bank for cash credit (CC) limits.

Bank of India, which tops the list with Rs 670.51 crore of loans, is followed by Bank of Baroda (Rs 348.99 crore), ICICI (Rs 279.46 crore), State Bank of India (Rs 266.37 crore), Axis Bank (Rs 255.32 crore), Allahabad Bank (Rs 227.96), Dena Bank (Rs 177.19 crore), Corporation Bank (109.12 crore), Exim Bank of India (Rs 81.92 crore), IOB (Rs 71.59) and IFCI (58.53 crore).

The company, allegedly with the support of officials from various banks, managed to obtain enhancement in credit facilities.

During 2011, DPIL had projected a turnover of Rs 2,197.60 crore for the year 2012, whereas the actual turnover was Rs 1,267.60 crore only for the year 2011, the FIR said.

"DPIL got credit facilities enhanced from Rs 285 crore to Rs 480 crore."

Next year, against its projected estimate of Rs 2,197.60 crore, DPIL actually achieved a turnover of Rs 1,740.38 crore, which was Rs 457.22 crore less from the projected turnover figure, despite the fact that the CC limit was fully availed by the company, said the FIR.

Bank of India officials, while conducting the credit review, did not decrease the CC limit and kept it unchanged at Rs 480 crore even though such figures were based on grossly exaggerated sales figures, it said.

DPIL is also accused of submitting false stock statements to the lead bank by treating the receivables more than 180 days (Non-Current Asset) to less that 180 days (Current Asset) to get more drawing power in their CC accounts.

The firm also allegedly utilised the CC limits for obtaining a large number of Letters of Credit (LCs), many of which could not be honoured by the company and were thus forced charged on the credit limit.

"It is learnt that about 1,000 such LCs were issued since 2008 by the Bank of India alone. The LCs were issued by the bank officials in favour of sister concerns in gross violation of bank's guidelines in order to give undue pecuniary favour to the borrowers," the FIR read.

"Thereby, DPIL was able to fraudulently divert the bank funds and thus, the securities were grossly inadequate to cover the outstanding dues of the consortium of banks amounting to Rs 2,654.40 crore."

The FIR said DPIL, through its founder and directors associated in the criminal conspiracy with the unidentified bank officials of various banks, cheated those banks by way of misappropriating public funds through falsification of accounts, creation of false documents, forgery of records and knowingly using such records as genuine.