Cheque books of these SBI associate banks valid till March 31

Cheque books of these SBI associate banks valid till March 31

After PNB, another bank fraud has come to light.

The CBI carried out searches at the official and residential premises of promoters of Kanishk Gold Pvt Ltd as it launched probe in the Rs 824-crore loan fraud case, the officials said.

Jewellery chain Kanishk Gold Pvt Ltd has been named in defrauding 14 banks including PNB and India's largest lender - the State Bank of India (SBI) with an amount as close to as Rs 824 crore.

Kanishk, which has a registered office in Chennai's T. Nagar, is owned by promoters and directors Bhoopesh Kumar Jain and his wife Neeta.

A consortium - headed by the SBI - of 14 public and private sector banks had given a loan of Rs 842.15 crore.

The jeweller first defaulted in March 2017 where the firm failed to pay interest to eight member banks. And later, stopped payments to all 14 banks. Following this, the bankers visited Kanishk's corporate office, factory and showroom on May 25 2017, but they found that the facilities were shut with no activity and stock.

SBI was reportedly the first bank to declare the account fraudulent to the RBI on November 11, 2017.

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Two more months after that, the SBI approached CBI charging Kanishk of "manipulating records and shutting shop overnight", it was reported. The bankers have been unable to contact them since its stock audit was initiated on April 5, 2017.

The Jains are are believed to be in Mauritius now.

The CBI is, however, to record an FIR in this case.

The SBI complaint said in the joint lenders forum meeting on 8 November a year ago it was made a decision to proceed with the filing of complaint with the CBI after declaring the loan account as fraud.

As on December 31 a year ago, State Bank of India has an outstanding of Rs 240.46 crore, Punjab National Bank Rs 128.31 crore, Syndicate Bank Rs 54.94 crore, Union Bank of India Rs 53.68 crore, Bank of India Rs 46.20 crore, IDBI Bank Rs 49.13 crore, UCO Bank Rs 45.01crore Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Rs 41.37 crore, Andhra Bank Rs 32.75 crore, Bank of Baroda Rs 32.78 crore, HDFC Bank Rs 27.06 crore, ICICI Bank Rs 27.61 crore, Central Bank of India Rs 21.99 crore and Corporation Bank Rs 22.86 crore.

The bank has alleged that while alleged fraud is to the tune of Rs 824.15 crore the security available with the bank to cover the said loss is to be tune of around Rs 156.65 crore only. It is alleged that Kanishk Gold Pvt Ltd and its directors have diverted the funds detrimental to the rights and interests of the bank, it said.

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