CBI conducts searches at multiple locations in two separate bank fraud cases

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New Delhi, Dec 17 (PTI) The CBI on Thursday conducted searches at nine locations in connection with two separate bank fraud cases totalling over Rs 525 crore, officials said.

The agency has booked Varia Engineering and Gopala Polyplast Ltd in two cases of bank fraud worth Rs 452.62 crore and Rs 72.55 crore, respectively.

The case against Ahmedabad-based Varia Engineering was registered on the basis of a complaint received from State Bank of India alleging that the firm cheated a consortium of banks including SBI to the tune of Rs 452.62 crore (approx.) during the period from 2013 to 2017, CBI spokesperson R K Gaur said.

'It was alleged that during the period from 2013 to 2017, the accused entered into a criminal conspiracy to defraud/cheat the consortium of banks comprising of State Bank of India, Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Central Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra, Punjab National Bank and Vijaya Bank in the matter of various credit facilities extended by them,' he said.

The CBI alleged that accused directors of the company Himanshu Prafulchand Varia and Sejal Varia manipulated and falsified the accounts and siphoned off the banks' funds.

'Searches were conducted today at four places including official and residential premises of private company/directors at Ahmedabad which led to recovery of incriminating documents/articles,' Gaur said.

The CBI registered a second case against Gopala Polyplast Ltd on the basis of a complaint from Bank of Baroda alleging that accused directors of the firm -- Manish Somani and Manoj Somani and Kishorilal Sonthalia -- cheated the bank to the tune of Rs 72.55 crore between 2017 and 2019.

'It was alleged that during the period from 2017 to 2019, the company availed various credit facilities which were enhanced and reviewed by the bank. It was further alleged that the continuous overdraft in the account and devolvement of LCs (letters of credit) resulted in the account becoming NPA (non-performing asset),' Gaur said.

The CBI alleged that the forensic audit of the company brought out irregularities in the account and showed that the directors had diverted the loan proceeds, thereby causing loss to the bank.

'Searches were conducted today at five places including official and residential premises of private company/directors at Gujarat and Mumbai,' Gaur said. PTI ABS DIV DIV