186 loans against spurious gold; ED attaches 5 properties

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached five Bengaluru-based immovable properties worth Rs 4.83 crore of S.K. Subramanya Reddy, the chairman of Shri Gokulam Educational Trust, and others in connection with a bank fraud case under probe since 2019.

The ED initiated investigation on the basis of First Information Report (FIR) filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against T.L. Praveen Kumar, the then Branch Manager of Bank of Baroda, Kengeri Branch in 2019.

Kumar, in collusion with Reddy and others, had sanctioned 186 gold loans against pledge of spurious gold ornaments to 57 borrowers to the tune of Rs 12 crore. All the borrowers were associated with Reddy and the loans were sanctioned between December 2017 and July 2018.

The ED’s money laundering investigation has revealed that Reddy used the loan money to settle his outstanding loans or overdraft facilities at Syndicate Bank.

Thus, the ED said, Reddy got his mortgaged properties released, and subsequently bought another property and paid EMI over other mortgaged properties and thereby projecting these properties as untainted.

Accordingly, identified assets to the tune of Rs 4.83 crore in the form of immovable properties have been provisionally attached under the PMLA. The loans benefitted 57 borrowers and caused a loss to the tune of Rs 10.68 crore to the bank.

The CBI FIR was based on a complaint filed by Lalit Tyagi, deputy general manager of Bank of Baroda.

In sanctioning the loans, the CBI FIR said that Kumar “exceeded and violated his discretionary lending power of Rs 10 lakh in as many as 44 accounts”.

Kumar is also accused of forging the signatures of the bank’s approved appraiser and joint custodian on the loan documents. The signatures are essential for sanctioning loans. He “abused his official position and sanctioned 186 gold loans against spurious gold ornaments with mala fide intention” and caused loss to the tune of Rs 10.68 crore to the bank for personal gain, the FIR added.

The accused have been booked for criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust by a public servant, cheating,and forgery under various sections of the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act. –IANS

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