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J&K bank case: ACB files FIR against Kehwa Group, Bank officials

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Srinagar: The Anti-Corruption Bureau has registered a case against Kehwa Group and officials of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank for alleged illegal appropriation of crores of rupees from the state exchequer, a spokesman said Saturday.

A communiqué issued by ACB said that Case FIR No. 3/2019  under section 5(1) (d) P.C Act Samvat 2006, punishable u/S 5(2) of the Act r/w 420 & 120-B RPC has been registered in Police Station Anti Corruption Bureau, South Kashmir (Anantnag) against Shiekh Imran Director M/S Kehwa Square Pvt. Ltd. Bohri Kadal Srinagar, officers of J&K Bank and other Govt officials, for illegal appropriation of subsidy with inflated project cost for establishment of CA storage at Lassipora, Pulwama.

The communiqué said that during enquiry, it also came to light that M/S Kehwa Group has 06 more business units. Sheikh Imran has raised varied loan facilities/ODs (overdrafts) for these business units. The liabilities on account of loan accumulated to Rs. 138 crores.

“Since, one of the company Kehwa Square had turned NPA including its sister business concerns, Sheikh Imran sought one time settlement with J&K Bank authorities. The bank finally granted wave off liabilities of Rs.33 crores. Pursuant to the one time settlement, M/S Kehwa group was asked to deposit Rs. 105 crores in two installments with the first installment of Rs. 50 crores to be paid by 25.03.2017,” said the communiqué.

The enquiry further reveals that in order to usurp the subsidy component under the garb of promoting Horticulture activity/storage facility with the connivance of the Horticulture Officers and Bank Officials, the proprietor of M/S Kehwa Square Pvt. Ltd. Sheikh Imran and his partners to declare the CA Store as NPA without paying even a single installment towards the bank while as the cost of the project assessed subsequently during enquiry by ACB was found much lower than the projected cost.

The enquiry reveals that this criminal design of Sheikh Imran and his partners was actually executed with the active support of  the Officials of J&K Bank through business unit namely M/S Go Fresh in seeking a loan term of Rs. 36.10 crores with arrangement of  margin money of Rs. 1.90 crores in lieu of the proposed transfer of the lease/property rights of this  mortgaged business unit i.e. CA Store Lassipora in his favour, the communiqué said.

The proprietor (s) of M/S Go Fresh Nadeem Ahmad Mayar obtained the loan amount of Rs. 36.10 Crores, he physically took over the operation of the CA storage business unit without formal transfer of assets / liabilities in his favour. Ironically, the bank authorities extended the loan facility to the proposed buyer on the same property which was already under hypothecation with the bank as asset of the principal borrower i.e M/S Kehwa Square Pvt. Ltd.

‘Enquiry has further revealed that M/S Kehwa Square Pvt. Ltd.  sought further concessions from the  bank subsequent to the first  OTS (One Time Settlement), were sought by it surreptitiously and consented to by the bank authorities whereof the second installment  of Rs. 55 crores, duly payable after the first OTS was further reduced to Rs. 27 crores.

“During enquiry it has come to fore that M/S Kehwa Group in furtherance of a well knit conspiracy with respective Government agencies and bank authorities under the garb of NPA and OTS/s in mutual conspiracy illegally  benefitted the proprietor/s of M/S Kehwa Group with illegal appropriation of subsidy amount of Rs. 16.50 crores and layering of various transactions”, said the communiqué.

The communiqué further said that it is established that the M/S Kehwa Group has got their loan of Rs. 138 crores with J&K Bank, restructured for merely an amount of Rs. 78 crores and under a well knit conspiracy Sheikh Imran and partners of M/S Kehwa Square Pvt. Ltd. was extended with covert / overt  support by Officers of J&K Bank and Joint Inspection Team, dishonestly and fraudulently, who by abuse and misuse of their official position as public servants conferred undue pecuniary / monetary advantage on M/S Kehwa Group of Companies thereby causing illegal appropriation of crores of rupees from State exchequer,  for personal motives.

“The investigation has been set into motion and further action as per law is in process,” added the communiqué.

Imran, the businessman-turned-politician, is the Deputy Mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC).

ACB asks J&K Bank to submit signature, handwriting samples of 13 officials

Srinagar: Anti Corruption Bureau, Kashmir has asked J&K Bank Chairman to submit admitted signatures, handwritings and initials of 13 Bank officials and officers.

A communiqué issued by the ACB said that during course of investigations of Case FIR No. 10/2019 of P/S ACBK Srinagar that the agency requires these signatures, handwritings and initials for comparison.

The officers whose signatures and handwritings have been sought include two chairmen, Mushtaq Ahmad and Pervez Ahmed.

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