Leading rice firm directors held in Rs 3,872 cr fraud case

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Leading rice firm directors held in Rs 3,872 cr fraud case

New Delhi, May 4 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday arrested two directors of a leading Basmati rice processing firm for allegedly cheating a consortium of 14 banks, led by UCO Bank, of Rs 3,871.71 crore.

Sanjay Jhunjhunwala, Chairman and Director of REI Agro Ltd, and his younger brother Sandip Jhunjhunwala, the Vice Chairman and Managing Director, were arrested in an ongoing case being investigated by the CBI.

Sanjay, who had an Interpol red corner notice issued against him by the UAE authorities, was arrested when he came to Delhi. The CBI had also issued a lookout circular against him after registering an FIR in 2015.

The Jhunjhunwala bothers were booked along with some other executives and unidentified persons of the company, on charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy and forgery.

The company, which has its main offices in Kolkata and Delhi, is alleged to have defrauded the banks to the tune of Rs 3,871.71 crore since 2013 through conspiracy, cheating and forgery.

It also allegedly cheated the banks using 150 shell companies, on the basis of fixed commission, through a group of brokers by creating false invoices and documents of money transfers for non-existent transactions, a CBI official said.

“We registered the case and subsequently arrested the directors of the company following the complaint of UCO Bank, which is leading a consortium of 14 banks,” the official said.

The accused persons also did diversion of funds, showed high costs of false capital expenditure, made fake investments in related companies, falsely inflated debtors, committed non-compliance with fund utilisation and corporate guarantee without permission of the consortium members, he said.

The official said: “There was no genuine business with the debtors and false bills were issued in favour of REI Agro Ltd.”

Sanjay was facing a case of misappropriation of AED 160 million, for which the UAE authorities had issued a red corner notice against him, said the official, adding the arrested accused would be produced in a CBI court on Friday.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.