A part of the loan funds was diverted for the production of a Telugu movie, says ED.
The Enforcement Directorate has attached 27 immovable properties, having a current market value of ₹33.39 crore, in a pisciculture bank loan fraud case.
About ₹1.72 crore from the loan funds was diverted for the production of a Telugu movie named Aakasame Haddu, said the agency in a statement on Wednesday.
The attached assets, located in Hyderabad and Vijayawada, are held in the name of Nimmagadda Ramakrishna, Nimmagadda Venugopal, V.V.N.K. Viswanath, their family members and associates. Their on-paper value is ₹11.05 crore.
The ED probe is based on an FIR registered by the CBI against Mr. Ramakrishna, managing director of the Venus Aqua Foods Limited (VAFL), and its other directors. They were accused of cheating the Union Bank of India (erstwhile Andhra Bank) of ₹36.97 crore.
According to the probe, the company availed itself of ₹19.44-crore loans by furnishing forged documents, including fake lease documents for 470 acres of fish farms.
The loan funds were allegedly diverted and not repaid, causing a loss of ₹36.97 crore. The agency said the accused also took fish-tank loans to the tune of ₹22.64 crore in the name of 54 individuals, including themselves, their relatives, friends, associates and their family members to the tune of ₹22.64 crore.
“These loans were taken on the pretext of pisciculture, but the money was siphoned off and diverted to the main accused, who in turn used it to introduce share capital in VAFL, which helped the company to borrow more,” said the ED, adding that a part of the funds was used to acquire assets in the name of accused persons and others.