The Bank Securities and Fraud Cell of CBI made another high-profile arrest in its probes in bank-frauds – this time Rotomac’s promoter Vikram Kothari and his son Rahul Kothari for cheating a conglomerate of seven banks of Rs 3,695 crore.
CBI sources said that the Kotharis were arrested after three days of comprehensive questioning as they refused to explain the modus operandi utilized to befool the banks and how they utilized the money after getting it in their bank accounts.
Vikram Kothari was “non-cooperative for past three days”, said an official, adding that “he was not disclosing the details of shell companies, use of Rs 2,919 crore he took from the banks, bank officials and private persons who conspired with him”.
“Since he and his son were not disclosing details, they were arrested,” said a senior officer. They will be produced in a CBI court on Friday. CBI has already sealed their houses in Delhi and Kanpur while Income Tax authorities have attached their immutable properties and bank accounts.
The BS&FC cell, led by Joint Director Rajiv Singh, has also made high-profile arrests in the Rs 11,400 crore PNB scam in the last two days, including Vipul Ambani and senior bank officers. Singh has successfully led probes in multi-crore Ponzi schemes including Sarada, Rose Valley and others.
In Rotomac’s case, Bank of Baroda had on Sunday filed a criminal complaint declaring that Rs 2,919 crore was siphoned off by the Kotharis, which together with penalties reached Rs 3,695 crore. A consortium of seven banks led by Bank of India gave him loans 2008 onwards with BoI’s exposure being Rs 754 crore. Among other lenders, Bank of Baroda had advanced Rs 456.63 crore, Indian Overseas Bank Rs 771 crore, Union bank of India Rs 459 crore, Allahabad Bank Rs 330 crore, Bank of Maharashtra Rs 50 crore, Oriental Bank of Commerce Rs 97 crore.
It is purported that Kothari got loans dispensed on the basis of foreign letters of credit (FLCs) on the pretext of making payments to his buyers and suppliers in places like Dubai, Sharjah and Hong Kong but they didn’t exist.
The Kotharis reportedly provided incomplete documents or photocopies of bills of loading to the banks on the pretext that original papers were sent to the importer.
The banks have purported that Rotomac did not attach the packing list, mandatory insurance copies of goods, certificate of origin of goods, or the inspection certificate from third parties while submitting documents to it. When bank officials visited Rotomac’s suppliers and buyers abroad, they found that the import/export business was purportedly running through shell companies.
The banks have also claimed that Rotomac violated Foreign Exchange Management Act rules and worked for interest rate differential in local and foreign currency in the guise of trade without having any genuine business transactions.
Sources say that Vikram Kothari’s wife Sadhana, who was Director in the company, has not been largely questioned yet, but she can also be also called to Delhi for examination.