Move over Mallya & Choksi, Govt taking actions against dozen bank frauds

8/4/2018

New Delhi, The likes of Vijaya Mallya and Mehul Choksi may be are headline hunters. But the government of India is working on at least dozen others who have been involved in financial irregularities with the banks as well as who are under criminal investigation. According to sources in the Enforcement Directorate, such names and also the list provided to the Minister of External Affairs include three women. The list has the names of Vijay Mallya, Jatin Mehta, Lalit Modi, Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi,Ritesh Jain, Nitin Jayantilal Sandesra, Chetan Jayantilal Sandesra, Ms Dipti Chetan Sandesra, Hitesh Narendrabhai Patel, Ms Mayuriben Patel, Ashish Suresh Bhai and Mrs. Priti Ashish Jobanputra. Sources said the number of Indians involved in financial irregularities with the banks as well as who are under criminal investigation - who are living abroad/fled abroad - during the last three and half years that is -2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 up to June 30, 2018 have 23 names.Out of these eight names figure in both the list. The officials in multiple ministries say continuous efforts are being made for securing presence of these accused in the country by way of issuance of various tools available including Red Corner Notice and Extradition requests. The Government also feels that enactment of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act will help a lot in curbing such crimes and also bringing the accused to justice. The Bill has been passed in Lok Sabha already during the ongoing Monsoon session of Parliament. The new law is effective as an Ordinance was promulgated. The Ministry of External Affairs has meanwhile said that a formal request has been sent by a Special Diplomatic Bag to the High Commission of India in London for onward transmission to the UK authorities for extradition of Nirav Modi, main accused in the PNB scam. With regard the co-accused and Nirav Modi's uncle Mehul Choksi, the CBI has lately moved for getting Choksi back in India through principles of reciprocity and dual criminality as there is no extradition treaty. Among others, the CBI has filed a chargesheet against Winsome Diamonds promoter Jatin Mehta and two others for Rs 146 crore Canara Bank scam. The chargesheet filed in June has opened a possibility for the Enforcement Directorate to invoke the stringent Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, which allows for confiscation and disposal of all the assets of such fugitives, sources said. As per probe by ED, owners of Sterling Group, Nitin Sandesara and Chetan Sandesara, had floated about 300 shell companies to play a frad and 'layer' the loan money abroad. In another case in May this year, the Enforcement Directorate, Ahmedabad 'attached' properties worth Rs 14.50 crore of Ahmedabad's ABC Cotspin in connection with a bank fraud worth Rs 804 crore.The attached assets include an immovable property at Regent Chambers Nariman Point in Mumbai, reports said. Highlighting government's sincerity on bringing such frauds to justice, Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal said in Lok Sabha on Friday: "As regards the Kingfisher (of Vijaya Mallya) or Nirav Modi’s company – these were loans that were given over a period of time much earlier before this Government came in. "The strongest action has been taken against all these frauds, all these defaulters, which, in earlier years, never used to happen. Large defaulters never thought it their duty to repay back the loans. They thought that it was the banks’ responsibility to recover loans," Mr Goyal has said. It is only under this Government that the biggest and the strongest defaulter also is now bound to repay loans, the Minister added.

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