Syndicate Bank MD in Rs 600-crore loan case

Syndicate Bank MD in Rs 600-crore loan case


A high-profile loan fraud case amounting to Rs 600 crore came to light on Thursday with the CBI booking Aircel promoter C Sivasankaran, his son S Saravanan, and two top public sector bank officials, including Syndicate Bank chief Melwyn Rego.

The agency, which named 38 people including 15 bank officials who worked at senior levels at IDBI Bank during 2010-14, conducted searches at 50 locations across 10 cities, including in Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Faridabad, Gandhinagar, Chennai, Belagavi, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Pune, including Rego’s residence.

The case was registered against British Virgin Islands-based Axcel Sunshine Ltd and others on the allegations of perpetrating fraud through the loan accounts of Win Wind Oy, Finland and Axcel Sunshine Ltd after receiving the money from IDBI.

Besides Sivasankaran and Rego, who was deputy managing director in IDBI Bank when the loan was sanctioned, others named in the FIR include managing director and CEO of Indian Bank Kishor Kharat (who was managing director and CEO of IDBI Bank) and then chairman-cum-managing director of IDBI Bank M S Raghavan.

“It is a case of alleged fraud on the bank by then executives of the bank, then promoters of the group and the companies. It was alleged that the Finland-based company was sanctioned loan by IDBI in October 2010 to the extent of Euro 52 million (Rs 322.40 crore). The performance of the said company showed stress and it was eventually granted voluntary bankruptcy by a Court in Finland in October 2013,” a CBI spokesperson said.

Another loan of $83 million (Rs 523 crore) was sanctioned by IDBI to the British Virgin Island-based company in February-March 2014. This was used for repaying loans of other companies belonging to Sivasankaran in “flagrant violation of the guidelines of RBI on foreign investments”.

The loans were granted to these companies by IDBI Bank at its highest decision-making level comprising the senior-most management and even independent directors, “disregarding the existing guidelines, instructions and procedures”. Subsequently, various conditions were relaxed or altogether ignored leading to a loss of around Rs 600 crore to the bank.

Deputy managing director IDBI G M Yadwadkar, former independent directors of IDBI P S Shenoy, S Ravi, Ninad Karpe, executive director Subroto Gupta, former executive directors Viney Kumar and B Ravindra Nath, general managers K Biju George, Venkata Krishnan, G Suneel Babu and then regional manager Manoj Alex were also booked.