Maharashtra: CBI to soon launch investigation into 12 high-profile bank fraud cases

THE CENTRAL Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will soon begin its investigation into 12 high profile cases of bank fraud totaling Rs 13,048 crore as the Maharashtra government has decided to give consent to the central agency to continue its work. These cases include a bank loan default of Rs 1,987 crore by Jet Airways Ltd and its former promoters Naresh Goyal and Anita Goyal. According to CBI officials, the State Bank of India (SBI) filed a complaint with the agency against Jet Airways in November 2021.

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Jet Airways went bankrupt in 2019 and the company had 21,000 creditors seeking claims of around Rs 45,000 crore.

Last year, the court approved the Jet Airways resolution plan submitted by the consortium of Kalrock Capital and Murari Lal Jalan.

Another key case the CBI is likely to investigate is the alleged bank fraud of Rs 1,353 crore by Rana Kapoor, former co-founder of Yes Bank Ltd, in the case of Reliance Home Finance Ltd (RHFL) run by Anil Ambani . He is already investigating Kapoor and Avantha Group promoter Gautam Thapar in connection with an alleged loan fraud of Rs 1,700 crore. Kapoor is currently in jail.

Apart from this, the agency is set to investigate a new bank fraud case of Rs 225 crore against Kapoor.

The agency also expects the state government to give the green light to investigate three separate loan fraud cases of Rs 987 crore, Rs 569 crore and Rs 529 crore against IL&FS Energy Development Company Ltd, IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd and IL&FS Maritime Infrastructure Company Ltd, respectively. The agency said Yes Bank is the plaintiff in all three cases related to the IL&FS group.

The financial irregularities at IL&FS came to light in September 2018, after some group entities began defaulting on debt repayments.

The government subsequently replaced the company’s board and appointed new management to work on a resolution plan.

IL&FS also came under the control of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO). The SFIO uncovered several irregularities in corporate governance and financial metrics that led to a default crisis at IL&FS.

The CBI may also file a new FIR against bankrupt travel company Cox and Kings and its promoters Peter Kerkar and Urrshila Kerkar in connection with an alleged fraud of Rs 624 crore based on a complaint filed by SBI. Peter Kerkar, who has been charged with money laundering, is currently in prison.

The central agency, which is already investigating a loan default of Rs 22,800 crore by ABG Shipyard is likely to file another FIR against an ABG group company Vadraj Cement Ltd and its promoter Rishi Agarwal for an alleged default of payment of Rs 1,107 crore based on a complaint filed by the Punjab National Bank (PNB).

The country’s top investigative agency is also likely to begin its probe into an alleged loan scam of Rs 4,037 crore to Union Bank of India, involving Corporate Power Ltd, a subsidiary of Corporate Ispat Alloys Ltd (CIAL). CIAL and its promoters are already under CBI’s lens for allegedly causing a loss of Rs 136 crore to PNB.

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