And now, ED raids Vadodara firm in Rs2,600-cr bank loan fraud

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is reported to have conducted multiple searches in connection with a money laundering case against a Vadodara-based company for allegedly cheating various banks to the tune of Rs2,654 crore.

Raids are being carried out at seven places in Vadodara district and the premises of the firm Diamond Power Infrastructure Ltd (DPIL), officials said.
The company, which was named in the Reserve bank of India’s list of loan defaulters managed to get loans through fraud, sources added.
ED sleuths raided the corporate office of the company in Gorwa area of the city, factories in Vadadala and Ranoli and residential premises of its executives in Nizampura and New Alkapuri.
The searches followed raids conducted by the CBI last week and a criminal complaint filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against the company. The ED is probing if the alleged defaulted loans were laundered to create illegal assets and black money by the accused.
The CBI had found that DPIL, which manufactures electric cables and equipment, had fraudulently availed credit facilities from a consortium of 11 banks (both public and private) since 2008, leaving behind an outstanding debit of Rs2,654.40 crore as of 29 June 2016. The loan amount of Rs2,654 crore, it said, was declared a non-performing asset in 2016–17.
DPIL is promoted by SN Bhatnagar and his sons Amit Bhatnagar and Sumit Bhatnagar, who are also the executives of the firm.
The company and its directors managed to get the term loans and credit facilities, in spite of the fact that they were named in the Reserve Bank’s defaulters list and ECGC (Export Credit Guarantee Corporation) caution list at the time of the initial sanction of credit limits by the consortium, the agency had alleged.
At the time of formation of consortium in 2008, Axis Bank was the lead bank for the term loan and Bank of India was the lead bank for cash credit limits. It is alleged that the firm, with active connivance of officials from various banks, managed to get enhanced credit facilities.
According to the CBI, the company had been allegedly submitting false stock statements to the lead bank by treating receivables more than 180 days (non-current asset) as less than 180 days (current asset) to get more drawing power in their cash credit accounts.