CBI conducts searches in three cities against IL&FS

New Delhi: The CBI conducted searches in three cities after registering an FIR against IL&FS Energy Development Company Limited in connection with an alleged fraud of Rs 100.30 crore in Punjab National Bank, officials said on Friday.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked the company and its directors for alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act for diversion of funds and other irregularities in the utilisation of loans availed from the bank.

“The CBI has conducted searches at office and residential premises of accused including the private company at New Delhi, Dehradun (Uttarakhand) and Mumbai (Maharashtra), etc. which led to recovery of incriminating documents/articles etc.,” a CBI spokesperson said.

It was alleged that the accused entered into a conspiracy to cheat Punjab National Bank (erstwhile e-United Bank of India), he said.

“In pursuance of the said conspiracy, the accused misappropriated the sanctioned credit facilities by way of cheating, utilisation of loan funds contrary to the sanction terms and conditions, diversion of sale proceeds to related and sister concern companies, etc. and thereby caused loss to the tune of Rs. 100.03 crore plus interest to the bank,” the spokesperson said.

The CBI said e-United Bank of India had sanctioned a term loan of Rs 100 crore to the company on December 28, 2017 under a multiple banking arrangement.

The account turned a non-performing asset (NPA) on December 31, 2018.

To ascertain if there had been a fraud, a forensic audit was conducted through Haribhakti and Co. for the period from December 1, 2013 to April 30, 2020, the agency said.

The forensic auditor submitted its final report on March 9, 2021 that red-flagged several irregularities, including the potential diversion of funds of Rs 576 crore.

“The potential diversion of funds to the extent of Rs. 576.07 crore has been observed by the forensic auditor. However, PNB is concerned with the facilities sanctioned to the tune of Rs 100 crore,” the FIR said.