The Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday registered six cases against two Mumbai-based private companies for allegedly duping three banks of Rs 1,530 crore.
The firms booked by the CBI deal in jewellery import and export. The defaulters -- Winsome Diamonds Group and one of its subsidiaries -- are owned by one Jatin Mehta who is outside the country.
At present, Winsome Diamonds is the second largest defaulter of India. Winsome Diamonds was classified as a "wilful defaulter" by banks in October 2013.
HERE IS ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
- The banks that suffered losses are Vijaya Bank, IDBI Bank and Central Bank of India.
- These three banks filed complaints against the promoters of these companies, alleging cheating and criminal conspiracy. It was further alleged that standby letters of credit (SBLCs) were opened by the banks for the import of gold by companies from foreign banks.
- Gold was imported to India, and then re-exported to 13 UAE-based buyers. When the companies did not honour the SBLCs, Indian banks were forced to make payments to the foreign banks amounting to Rs 1,530 crore.
- The agency suspects that the promoters of the accused companies were helped by some senior bank officials in the fraud. Hence, bank officials are also being questioned along with promoters of these companies.
- Out of this amount, the Central Bank of India suffered a loss of Rs 699.54 crore in one case and of Rs 255.24 crore in another. The IDBI bank incurred a loss of Rs 133.12 crore in one case while of Rs 55.68 crore in the second. The Vijaya Bank faced a loss of Rs 233.15 crore in one case and of Rs 153.71 crore in another.
- Winsome and its subsidiaries owe about Rs 7,000 crore to a consortium of 15 public and private banks led by Standard Chartered and the Punjab National Bank (PNB). Even the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is investigating the case and would soon issue a non-bailable warrant against Mehta.
- A senior CBI official confirmed to India Today that chief promoter Jatin Mehta would soon be summoned for the interrogation. Also, the role of bank officials and others in this regard will be examined.
- So far, the ED has attached properties/plants and machinery worth Rs 171.97 crore of Winsome Diamonds Group under the stringent Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in what it has called a "bank fraud case".
- In October 2016, the agency had raided Forever Precious Jewellery and Diamond Ltd, an associate firm of Winsome Diamonds that owes Rs 2,121.82 crore.
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