Amarinder son-in-law quizzed in bank fraud case

Amarinder son-in-law quizzed in bank fraud case

Amarinder son-in-law quizzed in bank fraud case

The CBI on Thursday questioned Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh's son-in-law Gurpal Singh in connection with a Rs 97.85 crore loan fraud involving Oriental Bank of Commerce, even as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a money-laundering case.

Gurpal, the deputy managing director of Uttar Pradesh's Hapur-based Simbhaoli Sugars Ltd, was quizzed by CBI investigators a week after the agency registered a case in connection with the complaint filed by the Oriental Bank in November last year.

Simbhaoli is one of the largest sugar mills in the country.

The chief minister has denied any wrongdoings on the part of his son-in-law while the Congress had said the registration of the case was part of government's "witch-hunt".

Former  CEO of the company G S C Rao, who is also named in the FIR, has also been questioned.

The CBI also conducted searches at eight premises, including residences of the directors, the factory, corporate office and registered office of the company in Delhi, Hapur and Noida.

The ED also registered a money-laundering case on the basis of a CBI FIR against Simbhaoli Sugars Limited and its executives under the Prevention of Money Laundering.

The ED conducted raids in Hapur and Noida on Wednesday.

Officials said some documents have been seized during the raids. Financial details about the company and its officials  have also been obtained by the ED from various banks, they said.

On February 22, the CBI has registered a case against Simbhaoli Sugars Limited, its chairman Gurmit Singh Mann, Gurpal Singh and others, including Chief Executive Officer G S C Rao, Chief Financial Officer Sanjay Tapriya, Executive Director Gursimran Kaur Mann and five non-executive directors.

According to the FIR, the CBI is probing a transaction on Rs 97.85 crore that was declared a fraud in 2015 and another corporate loan of Rs 110 crore which was used to repay the previous loan. The company had taken the first loan to  give it  to sugarcane farmers for financing their crop but illegally diverted it for paying the pending arrears to farmers.

While the bank moved ahead by filing a complaint in Dept Recovery Tribunal (DRT), the company made piecemeal repayment and approached it for a fresh corporate loan of Rs 110 crore to repay the previous loan.

The bank withdrew the case in DRT and sanctioned the new loan, which slipped into Non-Performing Assets (NPA) on 29 November, 2016.