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CBI arrests banker, Surat firm director in Rs. 836-crore scam

Loans were sanctioned allegedly without the consent of the beneficiaries.

IANS | Pune (Maharashtra) |

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has nabbed a former top bank officer and a director of a Gujarat-based logistics company in a Rs 836 crore scam, an official said here on Friday.

Those arrested were identified as Padmakar N. Deshpande, former Zonal Head (Pune) of Bank of Maharashtra, and Rajkumar R. Baid, Director, Siddhivinayak Logistics Ltd, of Surat, Gujarat.

They shall be presented later in a CBI Special Court in Mumbai, the official said.

The arrests came in a case registered by the CBI following a bank fraud complaint lodged against several officials of the Bank of Maharashtra and the logistics company.

It pertained to the bank sanctioning various credit and loan facilities to the Siddhivinayak Logistics Ltd during 2012-2014 for providing capital, and short- and long-term loans to 2,802 of its employee-drivers under "Chalak Se Malak" scheme to enable them purchase and own trucks.

According to investigations by the CBI, these loans to the drivers were sanctioned without their knowledge or consent by the bank, on the basis of forged documents provided by the logistics company and, thereafter, the loans were diverted for other purposes.

The loans were allegedly processed by Deshpande bypassing various guidelines and ignoring irregularities before sanctioning.

Baid was one of the directors in the company and an authorised signatory to operate the company's bank accounts, the CBI said on the role of the arrested accused.

The CBI sleuths carried searches at Deshpande's residence to unearth several electronic gadgets, LIC policies of an undisclosed amount, two bank locker keys and other related documents.

Incidentally, the same company is believed to have also defrauded three other banks — Bank of Baroda, Indian Overseas Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce — besides the Bank of Maharashtra.

In these multi-state scams, these banks have suffered losses amounting to over Rs 1,566 crore, said the CBI which has registered three separate cases against Siddhivinayak Logistics Ltd.