BANK SCAM … New Punjab National Bank scam unveiled; scam worth Rs37billion, says report


NEW DELHI: The scam-hit Punjab National Bank, India’s second-largest state-run lender that has been hit by a slew of recent scandals, reported another loan fraud on Thursday, in a running series of frauds that are crippling the banking finance sector of India, with huge adverse impacts on its economy.

Bloomberg news agency reported that a fraud of Rs 36.9 billion ($492 million) has been reported to the Reserve Bank of India in the accounts of Dewan Housing Finance Corp. The revelation made by Punjab National Bank in an exchange filing. The lender has set aside 12.5 billion rupees of provisions pertaining to this incident, the report said.

The report noted that Dewan Housing is a financier seized by RBI in November as India stepped up efforts to contain the shadow banking crisis. Punjab National Bank had, in June, reported about 735 billion rupees of gross bad loans for the quarter ended March 31 — 14.21 per cent of its total advances; down from 15.5 per cent the previous year.

Meanwhile, another media report said the enforcement directorate has attached properties worth Rs 2,203crore in the Yes Bank scam. This included, it said, Rs 1,400 crore worth of property owned by bank founder Rana Kapoor and his family. A bungalow worth Rs 685crore located on 40 Amrita Shergill Marg in Delhi and properties worth Rs 1,411.9crore belonging to Dewan Housing Finance Ltd (DHFL) group have been attached. “The present market value of these assets is more than Rs 2,800crore and include immovable properties in India and abroad, as also bank accounts, investments, luxury vehicles etc. These assets belong to Rana Kapoor, Kapil Wadhawan & Dheeraj Wadhawan and the entities controlled by them,” an official statement by the agency said.

Other of Rana Kapoor and related entities that have been attached include an independent residential building Khursidabad at Cumbala Hill; three duplex flats at Napean Sea Road in Mumbai, a residential flat in NCPA at Nariman Point and eight flats in India Bulls Blue, Worli, Mumbai. Also attached were properties linked to the Wadhawans like 12 flats and individual houses in Mumbai and Pune as also properties in New York, London and Australia besides 344 bank accounts.

The ED is probing Kapoor’s alleged use of the bank to extend loans in exchange for “kickbacks” as detailed in a chargesheet filed by the agency on May 6 this year. Three London properties including a office-cum-guest house at 77 South Audley Street worth 11.5 million British Pounds and another residential property, both in the name of a company run by Kapoor’s daughter Rakhi Kapoor, Doit Creation Jersey Ltd, were on ED radar, a report said.

It was in March this year that CBI registered two cases against Kapoor. The first FIR had said YES Bank had invested 3,700crore in short-term debentures of DHFL between April and June 2018. In return, Kapoor was allegedly paid “kickbacks” amounting to Rs600crore by DHFL promoter Kapil Wadhawan, the report said. –Agencies, IHN-NN


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