New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case of bank fraud against Mumbai BJP general secretary Mohit Kamboj and two other company directors for allegedly defrauding the state-run Bank of India to the tune of Rs 57.26 crore.
According to a complaint filed by the bank, Kamboj’s company, M/s Bagla Overseas Pvt Ltd, which was earlier known as M/s Avyaan Overseas Pvt Ltd, entered into a conspiracy with bank officials to fraudulently procure credit facilities like Foreign Bills Negotiation Limit and Export Packaging Credit Limit, to the tune of Rs 60 crore.
Moreover, after availing the said credit limits, the accused company allegedly diverted the funds and prepared forged and fabricated documents in support of their claim, causing a loss to the bank.
Kamboj’s company was incorporated on 24 January 2013 for manufacturing and export of gold jewellery to Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong, and had approached the bank later that year for availing credit facilities, which were sanctioned in August 2013.
The same were extended to Kamboj against personal and corporate guarantees.
It was only in January 2014, during the continuance of the credit facilities, that irregularities were noticed in an inspection.
Kamboj has denied the allegation, stating that he had done a one-time settlement of Rs 30 crore against the dues in 2018. But the bank has countered his claim to say that the settlement resulted in loss and also pointed at discrepancies in the source of funds submitted.
Kamboj told NDTV, “Compromise in the above loan account was done in 2018 by paying Rs 30 crore as one-time settlement of dues. I also received no-dues certificate from the Bank of India in March 2019. I don’t know why the bank has gone ahead with this complaint after two-and-a-half years of clearing all dues; they have made a mistake. Nevertheless, I will cooperate with the CBI probe. I trust them fully.”
The alleged irregularities
According to the FIR, a copy of which is with ThePrint, during a bank inspection, it was found that the company had not routed its sale proceeds through the bank, nor had they maintained any proper record of their sales. In 2015, the company was declared a Non Performing Asset due to non-servicing of interest and continuous overdue bills.
“Apart from that it was found that stocks were shown at godown but no inward or outward register was maintained to determine the movement of stocks. Also stock statements were not submitted to the bank on time,” the FIR states.
“These irregularities were flagged and it was decided that a Forensic Audit will be carried out,” a CBI officer said.
Forensic audit findings and a Bollywood link
According to the audit carried out by Ernst & Young, the company was found to have diverted the funds taken from the bank to purchase property in the name of family members of one of its directors, through payments to undisclosed parties.
An amount of Rs 7 crore was also paid from the company account to one of its sister companies — BLK Exim, out of which Rs 5 crore was transferred to Vashu Bhagnani, a movie producer, on the same date.
“Bhagnani is a key person of Pooja Construction, who is also a film producer in Bollywood,” the officer said.
“A sum of Rs 2.10 crore was transferred to Mishka Gold, which is another sister company of Kamboj’s company. From Mishka Gold, Rs 2.14 crore was then transferred to one Aksha Gold Ornaments. Aksha then transferred Rs 50 lakhs to to Pooja Constructions,” the officer said.
According to the audit report, an agreement of purchase of a flat at Bandra worth Rs 22 crore was done by Aksha Kamboj, Kamboj’s wife and Vashu Bhagnani, who own Pooja Construction.
“It shows that the borrower diverted the public funds with dishonest and malafide intention to misappropriate the same for their own use and so as to cause wrongful loss to the bank,” the FIR states.
“The company with fraudulent and dishonest intention had indulged with related parties transactions which were not genuine trade transactions for which the credit facilities were granted by the bank,” the FIR also said.
The company also allegedly had not lodged its financial statements with Ministry of Corporate Affairs portal since 2014.
The FIR noted that the company had wrongfully shown the amount of credit to be Rs 12.32 crore on 31 March 2014 in a statement submitted to the bank, while according to the Audited Financial Statements, the credit was shown as Rs 25.72 crore.
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