CBI arrests Standard Chartered Bank officer in Chennai for receiving Rs 3-lakh bribe

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New Delhi, Feb 19 (PTI) The CBI has arrested a Standard Chartered Bank officer in Chennai for allegedly receiving bribe of Rs three lakh to help in favourable settlement of a case related to immovable property collaterals pending before a Debt Recovery Tribunal, officials said Friday.

The authorised officer in Group Special Asset Management unit of the bank, Rajendran, has allegedly demanded the bribe from a Coimbatore-based firm facing loan default of over Rs 36 crore to help in arranging one-time settlement and also in the DRT where the company had filed the case against alleged undervaluation of its collateral security during the auction by the bank to recover outstanding dues, they said.

The company had approached the agency with the complaint against the bribe demand, following which an FIR was registered.

The agency laid down the trap and arrested Rajendran in the case, they said.

This is second case in the recent past that the CBI has acted against officials of a private bank, officials said.

In July last year, the CBI had arrested two HDFC Bank officials for allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs 2.70 lakh for sanctioning Rs 99 lakh loan.

During the searches at the premises of Standard Chartered Bank official Rajendran who was arrested by the agency in Chennai while allegedly accepting the bribe, the CBI had recovered Rs 18 lakh in cash, besides property documents and locker details.

'It was further alleged that the complainant's firm had availed OD/Term Loan facilities from Standard Chartered Bank, D B Branch, Coimbatore for a total amount of Rs 27.70 crore (approx.) during the period from 2005 to 2016 with sufficient collateral. The bank accounts became NPA with the outstanding of Rs 26.37 crore(approx.) as on April 30, 2017,' CBI dpokesperson RC Joshi said in a statement on Friday.

The bank had started recovery process of loans under the The Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest (SARFAESI) Act and tasked Rajendra as Authorised Officer to dispose immovable properties pledged by the company as collateral to avail loans.

Surprisingly, the properties having an estimated market value of over Rs 61.5 crore were disposed in an auction at a meagre approximate one-third price of Rs 22.11 crore in January.

The company approached the DRT against the sale which stayed the proceedings in February.

'Since the matter was pending before the DRT, the accused demanded undue advantage of Rs three lakh from the complainant to help and support the borrower,' Joshi said. PTI ABS SMN SMN