Mumbai-based private firm’s directors arrested over alleged Rs 4,000-crore fraud

Vaibhavi Khanwalkar
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The Economic Offences Wing of Mumbai police arrested three directors of Parekh Alluminex Ltd (PAL), a private firm based in Mumbai, following a complaint by Axis Bank for a fraud worth Rs 4,000 crores, reported The Times of India.

Bhawarlal Bhandari, Premal Goragandhi and Kamlesh Kanungo of PAL were arrested for cheating, forgery, breach of trust and criminal conspiracy. They have been charged with producing fake invoices and manipulating bills through fake companies through letters of credit.

Axis Bank, one of the 20 creditors to PAL, lent the company Rs 250 crores, for which it filed a complaint with Mumbai police. The bank’s complaint mentioned five other directors, late Amitabh Parekh, Rajendra Gothi, Devanshu Desai, Kiran Parikh and Vikram Mordani.

In 2011, PAL reached out to Axis Bank to acquire credit worth Rs 127.5 crore. Amitabh Parekh fabricated the minutes of a meeting with all of PAL’s directors, for a meeting that was never held, to get the bank to sanction credit. This got him the letter of credit to PAL but the money was diverted to Parekh’s personal account.

PAL tried to show Axis Bank that it had bought aluminium foils for Rs 49 crores from Suryakiran Ferro Alloys Ltd (SFAPL) naming Goragandhi and his wife as its directors. To get the credit from the bank, SFAPL had to show it had supplied goods to PAL.

However, while going through the bills and documents, the Police found the address given for SFAPL in the documents for en cashing a letter of credit worth Rs 50 crores, to be bogus.

Similarly, in 2013, PAL showed similar aluminium buys from another company called Trisons Metalex Pvt Ltd worth Rs 70 crores.

Role of bank officials has not been ruled out, said the TOI report.

State Bank of India and Indian Overseas Bank are the other lenders who have approached CBI against PAL, for diversion of funds to real estate developers.