In one of the big bribery cases this year, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said on Friday that it has arrested an official of the Standard Chartered Bank and also carried out searches in Chennai, recovering cash to the tune of Rs 18 lakh in connection with its probe into an alleged bribery case.
A CBI official said that the agency sleuths carried out searches at the premises of Rajendran, Authorised Officer, Standard Chartered Bank, Group Special Assets Management, Rajaji Salai, Chennai, and recovered cash to the tune of Rs 18 lakh, property documents and locker keys etc.
The case relates to an alleged bribery of Rs 3 lakh.
The official said that the agency has arrested Rajendran while demanding and accepting the bribe of Rs 3 lakh from the complainant.
The agency had registered a case against Rajendran on the allegations of demanding undue advantage of Rs 3 lakh from the complainant in exchange of support for the favourable settlement on OTS and win a case pending in the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) in the matter of immovable properties offered as collateral securities in a loan availed from Standard Chartered Bank.
It was further alleged that the complainant’s firm had availed OD/term loan facilities from Standard Chartered Bank’s Coimbatore branch for a total amount of Rs 27.7 crore during 2005 to 2016 with sufficient collaterals.
The bank accounts became NPAs with the outstanding of Rs 26.37 crore as on April 30, 2017.
The CBI said it was also alleged that the Standard Chartered Bank initiated action Under the SARFAESI Act, 2002, and Rajendran was the Authorised Officer to dispose of the immovable properties of the borrowers which were mortgaged as collaterals.
The official said that the properties were allegedly sold through auction for a total amount of Rs 22.11 crore in January 2021 against the market value of Rs 61.5 crore as claimed by the borrower.
“Aggrieved by the sale, the borrower filed a case before the Debts Recovery Tribunal court, Coimbatore, in February 2021 and got a stay order against the sale,” he said, adding that since the matter was pending before the DRT, the accused demanded undue advantage of Rs 3 lakh from the complainant to help and support the borrower.
The official said that the agency sleuths laid a trap and caught Rajendran red-handed while accepting the bribe of Rs 3 lakh from the complainant.
The accused was produced before a CBI court which sent him to judicial custody till March 3.