The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered an FIR against a Mumbai-based infrastructure company, Unity Infraprojects Limited (UIL), and its Chief Managing Director, Kishore Avarsekar, along with other directors in a multi-crore bank fraud case.
CBI came into action after a complaint was filed by the State Bank of India, one of the consortium members which alleged that the fraud took place at its commercial branch in Mumbai. The SBI accused the company officials of siphoning the "Bank's funds by doing fictitious transactions, manipulated and fudged books of accounts with an objective to defraud and cheat the bank and to gain unlawfully at the cost of the Bank's funds". According to the FIR, these individuals and entities are suspected of defrauding the State Bank of India (SBI) and 15 other consortium lenders to the tune of approximately Rs. 3,847.58 crore.
The investigation was initiated by a written complaint submitted by a senior SBI official on August 17, 2023, highlighting a complex trap of financial wrongdoing. Unity Infraprojects Limited (UIL), was known for its involvement in high-profile construction projects such as the restoration of the Mantralaya building after a fire incident in 2012, the construction of the Thackeray family bungalow Matoshree at Kalanagar, the Dadar TT flyover, and the CSM subway. The UIL has been banking with SBI since 2004, and the "company had availed of various fund-based and non-fund-based credit facilities aggregating to Rs 703.63 crore from SBI within total limits of approximately Rs 3,800 crore from a total of 23 lenders," according to the complaint.
It added that “the account became a non-performing asset (NPA) on 24.06.2014… was classified as fraud by the fraud identification committee in a meeting held on 08.11.2019”.
“The fraud came to light when a forensic audit conducted by M/s BDO India LLP submitted their reports on 25.09.2019,” the letter reads.
As per the complaint letter given by SBI to the CBI, the accused siphoned bank funds by carrying out fictitious transactions and fudging books of accounts.
The gist of the allegations made in the complaint is that UIL had sanctioned credit/loan facilities, fund-based as well as non-fund-based, of approximately Rs 3,800 crore by SBI and other consortium member banks.
The report added that prima facie, the complaint reveals the commission of offenses of criminal conspiracy, cheating, and criminal misconduct mentioned under sections 120 B and 420 of the Indian Penal Code, and sections 13 (2), 13 (1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
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