₹411 crore loan defaulter flees country, SBI complains to CBI after 4 years

The CBI had booked the company engaged in export of Basmati rice to the West Asian and European countries on the basis of complaint from the SBI, which suffered the loss of more than ₹173 crore

State Bank of India, Central Bureau of Investigation, loan defaulter, money laundering,
According to the complaint filed by SBI, the account had become non-performing asset (NPA) on January 27, 2016. Photo: PTI

Three promoters of Ram Dev International, recently booked by the CBI for allegedly cheating a consortium of six banks to the tune of ₹411 crore fled the country, officials said on Saturday (May 9).

The company, which is engaged in export of Basmati rice to the West Asian and European countries and its directors Naresh Kumar, Suresh Kumar and Sangita were booked on the basis of complaint from the SBI, which suffered the loss of more than ₹173 crore, they said.

However, they have already fled the country before the State Bank of India (SBI) reached the agency with the complaint.

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According to the complaint filed by SBI, the account had become non-performing asset (NPA) on January 27, 2016, which means that the bank filed a complaint after four years.

The company had three rice milling plants, besides eight sorting and grading units in Karnal district with offices in Saudi Arabia and Dubai for trading purposes, the SBI complaint said.

Besides SBI, other members of consortium are Canara Bank, Union Bank of India, IDBI, Central Bank of India and Corporation Bank, they said.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) did not carry out any searches in the matter because of the coronavirus-induced lockdown, the officials said.

The agency will start the process of summoning the accused, in case they do not join the investigation, appropriate legal action will be initiated, they said.

As per a report in NDTV, Ram Dev International allegedly borrowed ₹414 crore — ₹173.11 crore from SBI, ₹76.09 crore from Canara Bank, ₹64.31 crore from Union Bank of India, ₹51.31 crore from Central Bank of India, ₹36.91 crore from Corporation Bank, and ₹12.27 crore from IDBI Bank.

The document of the complaint which was accessed by NDTV read: “Owing to liquidity problems, the account of the said company became NPA (non-performing asset) on 27.01.2016 with an outstanding of ₹173.11 crore.”

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“A special audit by the banks in 2016 showed the accused persons have falsified the accounts, fudged the balance-sheet and illegally removed the plant and the machinery in order to gain unlawfully at the cost of bank funds,” it said.

The banks conducted a joint inspection of properties in August and October, nearly 7-9 months later only to find Haryana Police security guards deployed there, they said.

“On inquiry, it has been come to notice that borrowers are absconding and have left the country,” the complaint filed on February 25, 2020, after over a year of account becoming NPA, the officials said.

The complaint alleged that borrowers had removed entire machinery from old plant and fudged the balance sheets in order to unlawfully gain at the cost of banks funds, it said.

According to documents present with the NCLT, Ram Dev International and its directors faced a case earlier too when they failed to pay ₹30 lakh to a company named Mussadi Lal Krishna Lal even after thrice warrants were issued against them since May 2018.

In December 2018, the tribunal was informed that the accused directors had fled to Dubai and were not available, read the report in NDTV.

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