CBI books UP-based sugar company in ₹ 109-crore bank fraud

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against an Uttar Pradesh-based private sugar company and its nine senior functionaries for allegedly cheating the Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) of ₹ 109.08 crore, in connivance with unknown bank officials.

This is the second case of alleged fraud involving the OBC in the past few days. The CBI had earlier booked a Delhi-based jewellery exporter and his business partners on charges of cheating the bank of ₹ 389 crore.

In the latest FIR, which pertains to a total of ₹ 148-60 crore in loan extended to the company in 2011, the agency has invoked various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Those named as accused are Ghaziabad-based Simbhaoli Sugar Limited, chairman-cum-managing director Gurmit Singh Mann, the then deputy managing director Gurpal Singh, chief executive officer G.S.C. Rao, chief financial officer Sanjay Tapriya and executive director-commercial (now managing director) Gursimran Kaur.

Non-executive directors S.K. Ganguly, S.C. Kumar, Yashwant Varma and Ram Sharma have also been accused of their involvement, besides unknown bank officials and private persons.

On Sunday, an official said, the agency carried out searches in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, on the premises of accused persons.

The FIR states that the OBC had sanctioned the loan in 2011 under a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) scheme for the purpose of financing to 5,762 sugarcane farmers supplying sugar produce to the company from January 25, 2012, to March 13, 2012.

It is alleged that the funds so raised were fraudulently diverted by the company for its own needs. The account turned non-performing asset (NPA) on March 31, 2015, and was later declared by the bank as an alleged fraud of ₹ 97.85 crore. The decision was also communicated to the RBI.

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In addition to the existing NPA, the bank — under the multiple-banking arrangements, — had sanctioned another corporate loan of ₹ 110.00 crore to the sugar company on January 28, 2015, to pay off its outstanding loan of ₹ 97.85 crore. They adjusted the total liability of about ₹ 112.95 crore on June 30, 2016, by way of the deposit of the new corporate loan.

The corporate loan also turned NPA on November 29, 2016, resulting in the alleged outstanding amount of ₹ 109.08 crore.