Another Fraud: Canara Bank & 9 Others Duped Of Rs 515 Cr By Kolkata-Based Firm
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), registered an FIR against RP Infosystems Ltd, a Kolkata-based computer company which manufactures and trades desktops and laptops across India, under the brand name “Chirag”. The FIR was filed by Canara Bank on behalf of a ten bank consortium. The FIR has been filed against the accused of defrauding the consortium of banks of Rs 515 crore.
RP Infosystems accused of Rs 515 cr fraud
Canara Bank had approached CBI accusing RP Infosystems of cheating the consortium of ten banks of Rs 515 crore. It was alleged that the loans were availed on the basis of fabricated stocks and debtors’ statements.
Apart from Canara Bank, the consortium includes Punjab National Bank, State Bank of India, Union Bank of India, Allahabad Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Federal Bank, Central Bank of India, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur and State Bank of Patiala.
Central Bank of India has a Rs 82-crore exposure, while Canara Bank of India has Rs 81 crore and Punjab National Bank Rs 73 crore.
According to an ANI report, a case has been registered under sections 120B (Criminal Conspiracy) read with 420(Cheating), 468 and 471(forgery) of the IPC and criminal misconduct by a public servant.
The FIR alleges that Letters of Credit opened by consortium members on the applications of the firm started devolving from 2012 due to non-maintenance of funds.
In a separate statement, Canara Bank said ,”The leader of the consortium had filed a case with CBI in May 2015. The account had been treated as fraud by our bank during October 2015 and reported to RBI. Consequent upon the leader bank relinquishing its role as the leader of the consortium and as directed by CBI (BS&FC), Kolkata, we were authorised by the remaining member banks to file revised complaint with CBI.”
In the complaint, it was stated that the company had overstated its inventory and submitted fake invoices to obtain credit. In the fiscal year 2013-14, the company wrote off inventory worth Rs 397.62 crore and receivables worth Rs 499.30 crore
RP Infosystems had earlier claimed that it had lent money to companies like GAIL (India) Ltd and Ceat Ltd. The two companies later informed State Bank of India that they had nothing to do with RP Infosystems.
This is not the first time that a complaint has been filed against RP Infosystems Ltd. IDBI Bank in 2013 had filed a complaint with CBI to probe into the fraudulent diversion of funds by the company using fake documents. However, Canara Bank in its FIR said that CBI restricted its probe to the extent of IDBI Bank’s exposure to the company.
CBI conducts raids
Since the Rs 11,400 Nirav Modi scam that hit PNB, this is the first bank fraud case registered in the city and fifth case of loan default registered by CBI.
The company’s four directors, including Shivaji Panja, Kaustav Roy and Vinay Bafna have been named in the preliminary FIR. Panja and Roy were once known to be influential personalities in the West Bengal’s political circles.
CBI has raided several places in Kolkata, Howrah and North 24 Parganas. Even its office at BBD Bag in central Kolkata was raided.
Panja and Roy told The Times of India, ”We have cooperated with CBI earlier and will cooperate with them this time too. We do not know much about the new case and are talking to lawyers.“