Ex-CEO of Religare Enterprises Ltd held in connection with siphoning of funds: Police

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New Delhi, Oct 27 (PTI) The Delhi Police arrested a former CEO of Religare Enterprises Limited (REL) and one of his accomplices on Tuesday in connection with alleged siphoning of money to the tune of Rs 2,397 crore, officials said.

Maninder Singh (56), a resident of Greater Kailash-II, and Narendra Kumar Goushal (56), a resident of Faridabad and the promoter-director of Arch Finance Limited, were arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police, they said.

According to the police, Maninder Singh was the director and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Religare Group in 2017. He was also a member of the Risk Management Committee (RMC) of the group for disbursement of loans.

Singh and one Kavi Arora allegedly sanctioned and disbursed 13 corporate loans amounting to around Rs 700 crore to sham entities, resulting in pecuniary benefits to the promoters of the Religare Group.

Singh was allegedly part of a larger criminal conspiracy with Malvinder Mohan Singh and Shivinder Mohan Singh, the promoters of the Religare Group.

Goushal, the promoter-director and majority shareholder of Arch Finance Limited, Decent Financial Services Limited and Nishu Finlease Private Limited, allegedly facilitated the financial transactions between Religare Finvest Limited (RFL) and the sham entities, a senior police officer said.

He added that a substantial chunk of the loan amounts disbursed to the sham borrower entities ultimately landed in the bank accounts of companies controlled and managed by Goushal and his associates.

The matter came to notice after Manpreet Singh Suri of RFL filed a complaint against Malvinder Mohan Singh, Shivinder Mohan Singh, Sunil Godhwani and others holding key managerial posts in the company, alleging that having an absolute control on REL and its subsidiaries, the said people had put RFL in a poor financial condition by disbursing loans to companies having no financial standings, the police said.

In his complaint, Suri alleged that these companies wilfully defaulted in making repayments and caused a wrongful loss to RFL to the tune of Rs 2,397 crore.

Joint Commissioner of Police (EOW) O P Mishra said following a preliminary enquiry, a case was registered in March, 2019 under section 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant or by banker, merchant or agent), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and an investigation was initiated.

In view of the sufficient incriminating evidence on record, Malvinder Mohan Singh and Shivinder Mohan Singh, along with three others holding key managerial positions in RFL, were arrested and chargesheeted, he added.

During further investigation, the roles of other key managerial officials, including Maninder Singh and those of the entities through which public money was allegedly routed and re-routed for diversion or misappropriation, were also ascertained and arrests were made, the police said.

The accused, in connivance with the promoters of the company, systematically siphoned off and diverted public money in a clandestine manner for their own benefit, they added. PTI AMP RC