ED conducts searches in bank loan fraud case

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New Delhi, September 10 (IANS): The Enforcement Directorate (DE) said on Friday that it carried out search operations on Thursday in connection with a bank loan fraud case.

The searches were conducted at the commercial and residential premises of the defendants and their associates, including Tara Corporation Limited (renamed Malaudh Agro Limited), its directors Jaswant Singh, Balwant Singh, Kulwant Singh, Tejinder Singh, their associates and other businesses sisters.

The raids were carried out at Ludhiana, Malerkotla, Khanna, Payal and Dhuri.

During the search, various pieces of incriminating evidence were recovered and seized. They were linked to bogus companies through which the turnover of Tara Corporation Limited (TCL) was inflated and loan funds were misappropriated by the accused.

Mobile phones, hard drives and Indian currency worth Rs 32 lakh were also seized from the raid premises.

The ED had initiated a money laundering investigation based on the FIR registered by the CBI.

Bank of India, Model Town Branch, Ludhiana had sanctioned a loan on cash credit limits totaling Rs 35 crore against the mortgage of shares and book debts in 2011 under a single bank agreement. The account was also sanctioned with an ad hoc limit of Rs 6 crore in February 2014, which has yet to be reimbursed by the company.

TCL’s account was declared NPA in 2014. The total loan outstanding is Rs 76 crore.

Jaswant Singh, Balwant Singh, Kulwant Singh and Tejinder Singh were administrators and guarantors of Tara Corporation Limited’s loan account.

When a new search was launched by the bank in May 2016, it was observed that there was a drastic change in the directors of the company and Kirpal Singh Tiwana, Harish Kumar and Lakhbir Singh had been appointed directors of TCL and a “main person”. ‘ Balwant Singh had resigned from the leadership.

Later, Balwant Singh was also reappointed as the director of the company in 2016.

“Based on the information available, an investigation has been initiated against the said individuals and their associates to determine the money laundering activities they have undertaken to launder their proceeds of crime,” the official said.

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