The Enforcement Directorate has attached 20 immovable properties, located in Mumbai, Pune and Ratnagiri and worth Rs 166 crore, in connection with a case of bank fraud case involving the Maharashtra-based Varron group of Industries.
An ED official said that the financial probe agency had registered a case of money laundering on the basis of an FIR registered by the CBI against (late) Shrikant Pandurang Sawaikar, Director of Varron Industries and unknown officials of Bank of India and Canara Bank.
He said that the ED probe revealed that a criminal conspiracy hatched by Sawaikar, Director of Varron Aluminium Pvt Ltd (VAPL), and his accomplices to cheat the Bank of India by inducing it to discount 246 forged bills backed by the Letter of Credit, of around Rs 300 crore opened by Canara Bank, Deccan Gymkhana Branch, Pune, on behalf of VAPL.
The official said that the Bank of India negotiated and discounted the amount of the said bills in the account of VAPL after deducting its charges.
“An amount of Rs 293 crore was credited in the account of VAPL on the basis of false assurances and forged documents. Further, part of said loans was diverted and later on due date, the Canara Bank denied the issuance of the relevant LCs. Bank of India did not get the amount on due date, and hence suffered a wrongful loss of Rs 293 crore,” he said.
The official said that the money was layered multiple times through group companies and various shell entities floated by Sawaikar and his accomplices.
“During further investigation, it was found that said proceeds of crime is eventually used for purchasing immovable properties including residential flats, land and part of it is used in group companies of Varron Group — VAPL, Varron Auto Comp Pvt Ltd, and Varron Industries Pvt Ltd.