CBI books three firms for bank fraud

PNB says credit facilities to the tune of โ‚น518.42 crore has turned into non-performing assets

The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a bank fraud case against three firms and the director of Apple Group of companies, which has an outstanding of over โ‚น518.42 crore with the Punjab National Bank.

Those named in the FIR are Nirajit Trading Private Limited, Saccharine Infrastructure Limited, Pooran Tading Private Limited and Ashish Garg, the director of Apple Group of companies.

In its complaint, the bank alleged that Mr. Garg indulged in fraudulent actions, and sought a probe under provisions related to fraud, forgery, siphoning of funds and criminal breach of trust. The credit facilities to the tune of โ‚น518.42 crore to the group entities had turned into non-performing assets.

The bank came to know about the alleged offences after it received an investigation report from the Income-Tax Department, which had carried out searches and surveys in the case of Apple Group of companies on December 7, 2018. The report purportedly revealed tax evasion, non-compliance of KYC documents and suspicious transactions.

โ€œVarious instances of forgery of signature and impersonation were also highlighted in the report,โ€ said the FIR. There was also rotation of funds. Accounts of these companies were opened with the bank within a span of two or three days in February 2014.

The bank alleged that post-demonitisation, huge transactions amounting to โ‚น17 crore were made in the accounts of the three companies. It was learnt that the group was by then already under the CBI scanner.

Mr. Garg was the introducer in all the accounts of the Apple Group. The bank quoted the sworn statements of Dimple Gaba, who worked as an executive assistant to Mr. Garg; Rajesh Kumar Chaturbedi, director of Propitious Infrastructure Private Limited; and Deepak Kumar, director of Pooran Tading Co., to the Income-Tax Department, alleging that they had not signed the account opening forms or KYC documents used in the process.

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