CBI arrests Diamond Power promoters in Rs 2654-crore bank fraud

19 April 2018, 08:59 AM
Central Bureau of Investigation - File Photo
Central Bureau of Investigation - File Photo

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested promoters and directors of Diamond Power Infrastructure Ltd (DPIL) in connection with an alleged over Rs 2,654-crore bank loan fraud case.

The three promoter-directors of the Vadodara-based firm S N Bhatnagar and his sons Amit and Sumit were arrested by the CBI with help from the Gujarat police after they were traced to Rajasthan, officials said in Ahmedabad.

The agency, in an FIR, said that DPIL, which makes electric cables and equipment, is promoted by Suresh Bhatnagar and his two sons, who are also its directors.

"The CBI located the accused late in the evening yesterday in Udaipur (Rajasthan) with the assistance of the Gujarat Police and arrested them today morning," the central agency said in a release uploaded on its website.

The loan issued to the company was declared a non-performing asset in 2016-17, it said. "It is alleged that the DPIL, through its management, (had) fraudulently availed credit facilities from a consortium of 11 banks (both public and private) since 2008, leaving behind an outstanding debit of Rs 2,654.40 crore as of June 29, 2016," the agency said.

A non-bailable warrant was issued against them on the agency's request, CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said in New Delhi. The investigating agency had received input about the whereabouts of the Bhatnagars following which teams were sent to arrest them. Later in the day, the accused were produced before a special CBI judge in Ahmedabad.

The company and its directors managed to get term loans and credit facilities despite being on the Reserve Bank's defaulters list and the Export Credit Guarantee Corporation's caution list at the time of the initial sanction of credit limits by the consortium, the CBI alleged.

When the consortium was formed in 2008, Axis Bank was the lead bank for the term loan and Bank of India was the lead bank for cash credit limits.

It is alleged that the firm, with active connivance of officials from various banks, managed to get enhanced credit facilities. According to the CBI, the company had allegedly submitted false stock statements to the lead bank by treating receivables more than 180 days (non-current asset) as less than 180 days (current asset) to get more drawing power in their cash credit accounts.

Earlier in the day, the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad said the trio were held from a hotel in Udaipur last night. "The CBI had sought our help in nabbing the Bhatnagar trio. Based on a tip-off that they were hiding in a hotel, a joint team of the Gujarat ATS and the CBI conducted a raid in Udaipur in Rajasthan last night and held them," said a senior ATS official.

First Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 08:16 AM
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