Bank of Maharashtra’s CMD, 5 others held for multi-crore loan fraud

RSTV Bureau
File photo of Bank of Maharashtra. PTI

File photo of Bank of Maharashtra.
PTI

The Economic Offence Wing of Pune police on Wednesday arrested Bank of Maharashtra’s Chairman and Managing Director Ravindra Marathe in a cheating case lodged against city-based real estate developer D S Kulkarni and his wife. Beside Marathe, five others, including former CMD, were held as well.

The police have charged that these bank officials did not stick to the RBI guidelines and did not verify if the loan amount was being used only for the project for which it had been sought.

Executive Director Rajendra Gupta, Zonal Manager Nityanand Deshpande, Bank of Maharashtra’s former CMD Sushil Muhnot were among those arrested along with Kulkarni’s CA Sunil Ghatpande and vice president Rajiv Newaskar of the engineering department of DS Kulkarni Developers Ltd (DSKDL).

They were booked under various sections of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

“As part of our probe into the cheating case against Kulkarni, it came to light that these bank officials colluded with DSKDL by misusing their powers and authority with dishonest and fraudulent intention to sanction and disburse the amount under the garb of a loan,” said Sudhir Hiremath, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Cyber and Economic Offences).

In May, the city police had filed a 37,000-page charge sheet against Kulkarni and his wife in the case.
As per the charge sheet, the total scam was worth Rs 2,043.18 crore.

The accused had floated nine different firms to siphon off the funds collected from 33,000 investors and fixed-deposit holders who were promised good returns on their FDs.

Of the total scam amount, the deposit and loan fraud was to the tune of Rs 1,083.7 crore, banking and non-financial institutions-related fraud of Rs 711.36 crore, debentures fraud of Rs 111.35 crore and fraud related to Phursungi land purchase is of Rs 136.77 crore, the EOW officials had said.

The police were probing the role of these bank officials for allegedly sanctioning loans to the builder without following due diligence.

According to the complaint filed with the EOW by one of the depositors, investors put in lakhs of rupees in a fixed-deposit scheme of the DSK Developers, but they neither received the interest nor the principal amount.

The EoW had booked the Kulkarnis under various sections of the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) Act along with IPC sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 34 (common intention).

The developer and his wife were arrested from Delhi on February 17 by the Pune Police. With today’s arrest, the total number of arrests in the case has gone up to 12.

(With inputs from PTI)