NEW DELHI: In more trouble for fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked him in another case of bank fraud to the tune of Rs 55.27 crores. The agency also searched three locations in connection with the case.
CBI spokesperson RC Joshi said that the agency booked Mumbai-based Bezel Jewellery (India) Pvt. Ltd., its directors Choksi Chetna Jayantilal Jhaveri, Dinesh Gopaldas Bhatia and Milind Anant Limaye and unknown public servants and unknown others on the allegations of causing loss of Rs 55.27 crores to Canara Bank.
He said that the agency carried out searches at three premises of the accused in Mumbai which led to the recovery of incriminating documents and articles.
The official said that Bezel Jewellery was sanctioned a Working Capital Facility of Rs 30 crore and Rs 25 crore respectively, by Canara Bank and Bank of Maharashtra under a consortium arrangement. The loan was sanctioned for the manufacturing and sales of gold and diamond studded jewellery.
“But the money was used by the Bezel Jewellery to repay its long-term borrowings,” the CBI official said.
The official said that in the initial year of availing of the limit, the company repaid its long-term borrowing of Rs 18 crore to its parent company and thereby diverted the entire limit of Rs 10 crore of Canara Bank to said parent company on the date of availing of the loan itself.
Further, the company has not routed any of the business transactions through the account and the transactions which do appear in the account were with their group concerns only, indicating diversion of funds, the official said.
The official said that further a BG of Rs 20 crore which was being availed from HDFC Bank was also invoked and the same was paid by Canara Bank by converting the Non-Fund Based limit to fund-based limit.
The official said that the borrower company entered into fraudulent transactions and defaulted on payment obligations towards the banks by diverting and siphoning off the banks’ funds in conspiracy with others causing a loss of Rs 55.27 crore to the banks.
This is the third FIR by the CBI against Choksi, who is currently residing in Antigua.
Choksi is wanted by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Rs 13,500 Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case along with diamantaire Nirav Modi. He had fled India before the PNB fraud case came to the fore.
The CBI booked him in another Rs 22 crore bank fraud case in May this year.