New Delhi: In a possibly biggest synchronised action against alleged bank loan defaulters, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on 2 July launched a massive crackdown by carrying out searches at over 61 locations in 18 cities after registering 17 cases involving swindling of funds to the tune of Rs 1,139 crore, officials said.
Over 300 officers drawn from various units of the agency swooped down at over 61 locations and knocked the doors of alleged defaulters on the basis of complaints received from various nationalised banks and inputs developed by the agency under close monitoring of CBI Director Rishi Kumar Shukla and senior officials in Delhi.
The figure, which stood at around Rs 640 crore, swelled to Rs 1,139 crore as the agency continued filing of FIRs during the day and expanding its search operations.
Braving the waterlogged streets of Mumbai due to incessant rains, the agency officials carried out searches at promoters and directors of Winsome Diamonds founded by absconding diamantaire Jatin Mehta who was booked in a fresh FIR registered under this operation.
This was the 16th FIR against Mehta accusing him of allegedly defaulting Rs 202 crore from Exim Bank. He is accused of allegedly swindling funds to the tune of Rs 6,500 crore.
The searches in Mumbai also covered two other firms booked in separate FIRs on a complaint by Union Bank of India. Five places were searched in connection with Rs 57 crore loss caused to the bank by Supamad Trading Pvt Ltd and one place was searched in connection with Asuti Trading Pvt Ltd for causing loss of Rs 50 crore to the bank.
Two places were searched in Delhi and Mumbai in connection with Asuti Trading.
By evening, the agency had already registered 17 FIRs across the country and the process of registering more is going on, they said.
The searches were being conducted in Delhi, Mumbai, Ludhiana, Thane, Valsad, Pune, Palani, Gaya, Gurugram, Chandigarh, Bhopal, Surat and Kolar, among others, the officials said.
Other companies which have been booked by the agency in separate FIRs include Ludhiana-based Supreme Tex Mart for causing a loss of Rs 143.25 crore to State Bank of India (SBI), Bengaluru-based Aegan Batteries for loss of Rs 98.75 crore to SBI, Gaya-based Ramnanndi Hotels and Resorts Ltd for loss of Rs 131.79 crore to Central Bank of India and Noida-based Naftogaz India Pvt Ltd for causing loss of 93 crore to Corporation Bank.
Delhi-based SL Consumer Products Ltd has been booked by the CBI for causing loss to Union Bank of India to the tune of Rs 55 crore, Aligarh-based Samprash Foods Ltd for loss Rs 60 crore to Union Bank of India, Chandigarh-based International Mega Food Park Ltd for loss of Rs 40.17 crore to SIDBI, Bhopal-based Ranjeet Automobiles for loss of 34.36 crore to Bank of Baroda, Surat-based Jalpa Textiles Pvt Ltd for loss of Rs 28 crore to Bank of Baroda, they alleged.
Three FIRs pertaining to alleged irregularities in disbursal of housing loans in a Union Bank of India branch in Bhubaneswar were also registered by the agency in which senior bank officials have been named as accused.
The loans resulted in the loss of Rs 24.17 crore to the bank, the officials said, adding that searches were conducted at nine places in Odisha.