The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday registered a fresh case against fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi and others for allegedly cheating Canara Bank and the Bank of Maharashtra to the tune of Rs 55.27 crore.
The agency has named Bezel Jewellery and its whole-time directors, including Mehul Chinubhai Choksi, Chetna Jhaveri, Dinesh Bhatia and Milind Limaye in the accused list. The FIR into the matter reads that a written complaint was received from the Chief General Manager of Canara Bank alongwith a copy of the Mandate of the Bank of Maharashtra.
The allegation in this complaint discloses that Canara Bank and Bank of Maharashtra sanctioned Rs 30 crore and Rs 25 crore, respectively, as Working Capital facility under a Consortium arrangement led by Canara Bank to M/s. Bezel Jewellery India Pvt Ltd (BOIPL) and immediately on availment of limits, the BIPL repaid its long-term borrowings of Rs 18 crore to its parent company and thereby diverted its Working Capital Limits.
It is alleged that though the loan was granted for manufacturing and sales of gold and diamond studded jewellery, the company has not routed any of the business transactions through the account since the beginning and transactions which appear in the account are with their group concerns only which indicate diversion of funds.
It is also alleged that the company has correct information regarding the stocks and sales/realizations in the stock statements submitted to the Banks. The account was always overdrawn due to interest debit and was continuously appearing in Special Mention Category.
It is further alleged that the company availed BG limit of Rs 20 crore for availing gold loan from HDFC Bank and the same was invoked and paid by Canara Bank by converting the Non-Fund based limits to Fund Based limits. The details of gold purchased out of the guarantee issued and its security/ sales and reasons for HDFC invoking the BG etc. was not provided by the Company.
Thus, the accused company and its Promoters/Directors entered into fraudulent transactions and defaulted in meeting its payment obligations towards the Banks by diverting and siphoning off the Banks funds in conspiracy with unknown public servants and unknown others and caused wrongful loss to Canara Bank-led consortium to the tune of Rs 55.27 crore and wrongful gain to themselves.
The account became NPA on February 26, 2018, and January 31, 2017, respectively with Canara Bank and Bank of Maharashtra.