CBI files 3 chargesheets in UBI frauds of Rs 150 cr

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed chargesheet against 45 individuals, bank officials and companies in three separate cases pertaining to Rs 150-crore bank fraud, before the Special CBI Court here, an official said on Thursday.

The accused include senior officials of Union Bank of India (UBI), private companies and their top directors, financial consultants and others.

Following a complaint from UBI, the CBI had lodged three separate cases in June 2019 and later in March 2020 involving the individuals and companies in collusion with bank officers who allegedly perpetrated the huge fraud.

It was carried out by the borrowers of the private companies in connivance with the UBI officers vide opening of Letters of Credit without processing, appraisal, assessment, internal rating, regular sanction from the Competent Authority and without proper mortgage.

After the first complaint, a chargesheet was lodged against 13 accused of an alleged fraud of Rs 57 crore, in the second complaint against 16 accused the fraud amount was around Rs 50 crore and in the third case it was against 16 more accused for the fraud to the tune of around Rs 50 crore.

The CBI investigations revealed that the borrower companies allegedly connived with fake suppliers to submit false and fabricated tax invoices, bills of exchange, forged lorry receipts, etc while discounting the LCs from various banks.

It was alleged that the Topworth Group of Companies Chairman Abhay Lodha, who are among the accused, played a major role and arranged for availing credit facility from the UBI for all the three accused borrowers by submitting fake financial data through one of his staffers.

Lodha also allegedly made his employees as ‘directors’ in various name-sake supplier companies to issue fabricated documents and siphoned off the loan amounts through them.

Among the accused bankers are – Ashok Dhabai, the former DGM and UBI Regional Head, Mumbai, Sanjay Sharma and the ex-GM and Zonal Head and a financial consultant Bajrang Kankani.

The prime accused individuals include – Narendra Phatkare, Kundan Setia, Abhay Lodha, Ashok Mehta, Vinod Jatia, Rupesh Gupta, Kunal Gupta, Vishwanath Agarwal, Alkesh Parekh, Mohammed Kutbuddin Khan, Gajendra Sandim, Nilesh Parekh, Wali Mohammed Chaudhary, Hemant Sanghvi, Mahavir Jaiswal, Imran Khan, Rajkumar Goel, Dilip Bhimraj Shah, Mohammed Iqbal Khan, Siddharth Madanlal Bagrecha and Vijay Babulal Jain.

They are the top directors, owners, executives of the accused companies’ list comprising: Suparna Trading, Asuti Trading, Excel Metal Processors, Navmi Steel Traders, Ratnesh Ispat, Geeta Mercantile, Sanjar Steel, Maheep Marketing, Jalpac Traders, Metcraft Alloys, and Deepstar Alloys & Steels, and further investigations are underway.