Fresh loan fraud worth Rs824 crore comes into light

Bhupesh Jain_MD Kanishka Gold (2)In an apparently fresh case of a lending scam, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case of alleged loan fraud of Rs 824.15 crore committed by Chennai-based Kanishk Gold Pvt Ltd (KGPL) on a consortium of 14 banks led by the State Bank of India and started the investigation.

There are rumours that the Directors of the KGPL, Bhoopesh Kumar Jain and his wife Neeta Jain may have fled the country.

The case has been registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on a complaint from the SBI on behalf of the 14-bank consortium, media reports quoted CBI officials as saying.

The CBI carried out searches at the official and residential premises of KGPL promoters as it launched a probe in the Rs 824-crore loan fraud case, the officials reportedly said.

The company engaged in manufacturing gold jewellery which was marketed under the brand name Krizz. It sold through distributors till 2014 but changed the business model to B2B (business-to-business) in 2015 supplying to large retail jewellers, the SBI said in the complaint to the CBI, reported PTI.

The loan accounts of the company were taken over by the SBI from the ICICI in 2008. Its banking arrangement was converted into a multiple banking arrangements in March 2011, it said.

The SBI alleged that while the “fraud” is to the tune of Rs 824.15 crore, the security available with it to cover the “loss” is only around Rs 156.65 crore.

The CBI officials were quoted as saying that they have received the complaint and were in touch with the bank because of certain loopholes in the complaint which were to be rectified by the bank.

The bank has alleged that the company had “misrepresented and falsified” the records and financial statements of the company to show a “rosy picture” since 2009 to avail credit facilities from it.

KGPL and its directors allegedly diverted the funds detrimental to the rights and interests of the bank, it reportedly said.

The SBI has requested the agency to register a case against Kanishk Gold Pvt Ltd, its promoter director Bhoopesh Kumar Jain and others, the reports said, adding that the company’s account was declared fraud and non-performing asset in 2017-18 by various lending banks, it alleged.