Loans-for-bribes: CBI to probe all Altius Finserv directors

There is further trouble for Pawan Bansal, the alleged mastermind in the Syndicate Bank bribe-for-loan-scandal, as the Central Bureau of Investigation has decided to probe all the directors of his company, Altius Finserv Pvt Ltd.

The directors of Altius Finserv and their relatives, as per the financial statements for the year 2013, hold 100 per cent of the company. The shareholding pattern of the company has changed in the last three years. In 2011, the directors and their relatives had 58.75 per cent equity shareholding in the company while the remaining 41.25 per cent was with about 50 shareholders in 2011. In 2013, the directors and their relatives had 100 per cent shareholding.

As per the ministry of corporate affairs records, other than Bansal who is managing director of the company, Raj Kumar Jain and Hari Das Khuneta are the directors at Altius Finserv. Currently, Jain holds the position of director at five other companies and nominee directorship at three companies, including DLF Emporio and DLF Promenade Limited. Similarly, Khuneta holds directorship of four other companies and additional directorship at three companies, which he joined in 2014. Bansal himself is currently managing director of Altius Global Finance Private Limited and BT Divine Power and Mining Corporation Limited.

"We are probing the role of other directors of Altius Finserv and also looking into the investment patterns of the company," a senior CBI official privy to the investigation said. Altius Finserv was earlier functioning as Upvan Securities Pvt Ltd.

Interestingly, the company's turnover has decreased over the years from Rs69.58 crore with profit of Rs31.12 crore in 2010 to Rs23.44 crore with profit of Rs8.05 crore in 2013. However, the reserves and surplus of the company have doubled from Rs30.96 crore in 2010 to Rs71.90 crore in 2013.

The CBI as of now is probing the role of Bansal – a known middleman for helping corporates to raise funds – for allegedly bribing the officials of various public sector banks to get loans for big corporates.

Bansal allegedly uses Altius Finserv as a front to collect money from various companies he helps and then passes on the money to bank officials. Bansal, as per CBI claims, regularly meets bank officials to process loans proposal he prepares on behalf of his corporate clients.

Bansal had allegedly brokered deals with Syndicate Bank chairman and managing director, S K Jain, to get loans for some corporate houses. CBI had also analysed some of the phone intercepts that established that the duo were striking a deal. Both Bansal and Jain were arrested by CBI along with nine other accused in the case. All of them are currently in judicial custody (See: Syndicate Bank CMD booked in Rs50 lakh bribery case).

In the two FIRs, registered in the Syndicate Bank case, CBI has named Bhushan Steel Ltd vice chairman Neeraj Singal, chief financial officer of Bhushan Steel Ltd Arun Agarwal, Ved Prakash Agarwal, chairman-cum-managing director of Prakash Industries, Pawan Bansal, chartered accountant, Vineet and Puneet Godha (relatives of Jain), Vijay Pahuja, Purushotam Totlani and Pankaj Bansal.

They have been booked under various provisions of the prevention of Corruption Act and criminal conspiracy under the IPC. Totlani is evading arrest and the court has ordered attachment of his properties.