Thursday, February 29, 2024

Yes Bank-DHFL Scam: Paintings, Watches worth crores recovered

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday recovered paintings and watches worth several crores during further searches conducted in the Yes Bank-DHFL (Diwan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd) scam case.

The CBI said articles worth several crores were purchased from diverted funds. These recoveries were made during further searches in an ongoing investigation of a case related to alleged loss of ₹ 34,615 crore (approx.) to consortium of 17 banks led by Union Bank of India.

Two paintings made by FN Souza (1964) and another by SH Raza (1956) worth ₹ 5.50 crore (approx); two watches of Jacob & Co and Frank Muller Geneve worth ₹ 5 crore (approx) and Gold and Diamond Jewellery including bangles and necklace worth ₹ 2 crore (approx) have been recovered. It was also alleged that the Promoters had acquired expensive items using the diverted funds.

During the investigation, the CMD and then Director, both of private companies based at Mumbai were arrested and both are presently in CBI custody.

A case was registered on June 20, 2022 on a complaint from Union Bank of India, Industrial Finance Branch, Mumbai against private (Borrower) company based at Mumbai, its then CMD, then Director and others including a private person, private companies, unknown public servant(s) & private persons on the allegations that the accused cheated a consortium of 17 banks led by Union Bank of India to the tune of ₹ 34,615 crore (approx.) by siphoning off loans availed from the said banks & falsifying the books of said private (Borrower) company and creating Shell Companies/false entities, which had come to be known as “Bandra Book Entities”.

It was alleged that the said private company and its promoters had created a number of shell companies and fictitious entities (the Bandra Book entities) and siphoned off huge funds by disbursing funds to such fictitious entities. It was further alleged that separate audits conducted by other private audit accounting organisations had identified multiple instances of diversion of funds by the accused for personal benefits and falsification of books of accounts to camouflage and conceal dubious transactions.

The audits also identified several instances where large value loans were provided to such fictitious entities without due diligence and without securities. Instances of sanction and disbursement of loans, merely by e-mail communications were allegedly found for which no loan files were maintained in the said private (Borrower) company. Earlier, searches were conducted at various locations in Mumbai at the premises of the accused which led to the recovery of incriminating documents.

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