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Canara Bank brings to light Rs 515 cr fraud

Canara Bank brings to light Rs 515 cr fraud

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday registered a case against Kolkata-based RP Infosystems and its directors for cheating a consortium of banks for over Rs 515 crore.

Based on the complaint received from Canara Bank Deputy Manager DV Prasad Rao, the central investigative agency filed an FIR against company's directors Shivaji Panja, Kaustuv Ray, Vinay Bafna, vice-president (Finance) Debnath Paul along with unidentified bank officials. A bank official in Kolkata filed the complaint with the CBI. The accused company availed bank funds on the basis of false and fabricated stock/receivables/debtors statements. As per reports, the consortium of banks include Canara Bank, State Bank of India (SBI), fraud-hit Punjab National Bank (PNB) among others. Punjab National Bank, which is in the middle of the Rs 12,636 crore fraud involving diamond trader Nirav Modi, has Rs 70 crore exposure, banking sources said.

"The stock was not found available with the company", which "fraudulently and dishonestly" sold the stock hypothecated to the bank and the "same was not sufficiently secured by the bank", the FIR said.

Canara Bank claimed the company had also manipulated its balance sheets, resulting in a sharp decrease in the debt amount from Rs 821.68 crore as of March 31, 2013, to Rs 105.97 crore as of March 31, 2014.

The Letters of Credit (LC) opened by different banks on application of RP Infosystem began devolving from non-maintenance of funds.

The company has failed and neglected to pay the dues of the consortium banks; the loan accounts became irregular and classified as non-performing assets or NPAs.

Canara Bank has clarified that the complaint filed against RP Info Systems and its directors for allegedly cheating a consortium of banks, in which it is a member, is a revised one.

In February 2015, Panja had been arrested while returning from Dhaka with Banerjee. Panja and Roy were once known to be influential in West Bengal's political circles. The leader bank had already filed a case with the CBI in May 2015.

State-owned IDBI Bank today said it had lodged a complaint with CBI in January 2015 against RP Info Systems with regard to a fraud and the matter is under investigation.

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