The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) have been busy over the past few days probing scams involving several public sector banks and arresting many of the culprits.
The CBI, for instance, arrested Tottempudi Salalith and Tottempudi Kavita, the promoters of Totem Infrastructure Ltd in connection with a nearly Rs1,400-crore fraud spearheaded by them and involving eight banks.
Union Bank of India’s industrial finance branch in Hyderabad first raised the alarm against the Totem promoters, accusing them of defaulting on loans of Rs313.84 crore, which got converted into a non-performing asset (NPA) in 2012.
The Totems had taken loans from eight banks and their total outstanding now adds up to almost Rs1,400 crore. The money was taken by the company, which worked as a sub-contractor for many infrastructure firms, and allegedly transferred to the personal bank accounts of the promoters.
Incidentally, Totem Infrastructure was also listed as being the biggest defaulter by the Income-Tax department in 2015, when it had an outstanding tax of over Rs400 crore.
The company was engaged in infrastructure projects including roads and waterworks and was a sub-contractor to several leading public and private sector infra majors.
The CBI has also registered a case against Chennai-based jeweller Kanishk Gold, which has allegedly defrauded 14 banks including the State Bank of India (SBI) after taking loans amounting to a hefty Rs825 crore. SBI topped the list of lenders, extending a loan of Rs240 crore, and is followed by Punjab National Bank (Rs128 crore), Syndicate Bank (Rs54 crore) and Union Bank (Rs53 crore).
The ED has also launched a probe against Kanishk Gold and was conducting searches at its showroom and the premises of some staffers.
And in another major fraud case, the CBI booked a former general manager of IDBI Bank and 30 others on Friday for allegedly cheating the bank of Rs445 crore by availing Kisan credit cards and fish farming loans, all on the basis of fake documents.
According to the CBI, about 220 borrowers had taken loans from various IDBI Bank branches in Chennai between 2009-10 and 2011-12, allegedly with the connivance of bank executives.