Press Trust of india

Bank fraud: ED attaches assets worth Rs 55.65cr of Kolkata firm

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New Delhi/Kolkata, Mar 26 : The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today attached assets worth Rs 55.65 crore of a Kolkata-based computer manufacturing firm in connection with its money laundering probe in an alleged bank fraud of over Rs 515 crore, officials said.

The agency’s zonal office in the West Bengal capital issued a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) attaching lands, plots and residential flats in Ahmedabad, Kochi, West Bengal, Bengaluru and Mumbai as part of the action against the firm R P Info Systems and its directors.

A total of 66 vehicles and bank deposits to the tune of Rs 2 lakh have also been attached, they said.

The total value of the attachment is Rs 55.65 crore, they said.

The ED had lodged a PMLA case in the matter based on a CBI FIR.

The CBI in February had booked the firm and its directors Shivaji Panja, Kaustuv Ray and Vinay Bafna for allegedly cheating a consortium of banks to the tune of Rs 515.15 crore.

It is not the first time that the company has had a brush with the law as the CBI had booked it in 2015 for cheating IDBI Bank, once a leader of the consortium before relinquishing the position in 2013, to the tune of Rs 180 crore.

The other members of the bank consortium were State Bank of India, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur and State Bank of Patiala (both now part of the SBI), Union Bank of India, Allahabad Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Central Bank of India, Punjab National Bank and Federal Bank.

It is alleged that loans were taken on the basis of false and fabricated documents.

The bank in its complaint on February 26, now part of the CBI and the ED FIRs, has alleged that the company which manufactured computers with brand name Chirag had taken funds from the consortium from time to time from 2012 onwards.

These loans have become NPA, it said,

The banks alleged that company manipulated financial statements and did not route sale proceeds through the loan account.

The agency had booked the company and its directors in 2015 in connection with the case related to IDBI Bank. But in the FIR, the agency had only focussed on the exposure to IDBI Bank which was over Rs 180 crore.

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