The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday said it has filed a Prosecution Complaint (chargesheet) against Debabrata Halder, National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) officials and others, for causing a loss of Rs 173.50 crore to the NSIC and the banks.
An ED official said that the chargesheet was filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) before the Special ED court in Kolkata.
The ED has mentioned in the chargesheet that the accused allegedly indulged in the wrongful invocation of bank guarantees/invocation of fake bank guarantees due to which the banks suffered losses.
The official said that cognizance of the offence under the PMLA has been taken by the court.
Initially a FIR was registered by the CID, West Bengal in this respect. The ED initiated a money laundering investigation on the basis of this FIR.
“There is a total loss of Rs 173.50 crore to NSIC/bank lent under its Raw Material Assistance Scheme (RMA Scheme) through criminal conspiracy by submitting bank guarantees (BGs) of other unconnected entities and fake BGs, purported to be issued by various branches of the erstwhile United Bank of India, Kolkata, which came to the fore when these were enforced by NSIC. The RMA scheme has been devised to provide credit facilities to various needy MSME firms,” said the ED official.
The official said that NSIC funds obtained under its RMA scheme were laundered through the accounts of various fictitious supplier firms with the active connivance of Debabrata Halder (middleman), Utpal Sarkar and Rahul Paul (beneficial owner of fictitious MSME & suppler firm) along with the then officials of NSIC and UBI.
Non-bailable warrants have been issued against Utpal Sarkar and Rahul Paul by the PMLA Special Court.
Debabrata Halder was arrested in 2021 and was remanded to ED custody for 14 days. Presently, he is in judicial custody.