• Fri. Dec 1st, 2023

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CBI probes Wadhawan brothers in the biggest bank fraud case

Pegging the fraud caused to a consortium of banks led by the at Rs 34,615 crores, the Central Bureau of India (CBI) is probing the biggest bank fraud case in recent times. The alleged fraud surpasses the fraud amount of Rs 22,842 in the ABG Shipyard case.

The complaint has been registered against promoters and erstwhile management of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL) for allegedly causing a loss of over Rs 34,000 crores The FIR also names Mumbai-based builder Sudhakar Shetty and firm Sunblink Real Estate as co-accused. Sunblink is also being probed by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering and terror fundings case registered against late Dawood gang member Iqbal Memon alias Iqbal Mirchi and the Wadhawan brothers.

Sources said searches are underway at 12 locations in Mumbai.

As reported first by the ET, the bank in its complaint, the lead bank has affixed the findings of audit firm, KPMG engaged by the consortium which has prima facie found, “deviation of laid down norms and procedures, manipulation of accounts, concealments, undisclosed bank accounts and misrepresentation”.

The CBI is also probing the promoters: Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan in the


These sources added that even while preliminary enquiry in the said matter concluded that there was a case of loss of public money, the federal agency was not able to register a fresh FIR in Mumbai for the want of general consent which needs to be accorded by the Maharashtra government.

In August last year in the aftermath of the probe into the manipulation of television rating points (TRP), the state government withdrew consent to the agency accorded to the CBI under Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act. A general consent is a must for the CBI to register an offence in the state, in its absence, the federal agency has to approach the state government on a case to case basis seeking permission to conduct investigation.

“Since the state government didn’t respond to the repeated communications sent by the agency, a legal opinion was sought and a decision was taken to register a case with the New Delhi branch,” said a senior official privy to the development.

Union of India was not immediately available for comment.

The special audit report prepared by KPMG against the erstwhile management has found DHFL disbursed loans and advances totalling to Rs19,754 crores to 35 entities with commonalities to DHFL promoter. “…of these 25 entities had reported minimal operations and were disbursed loans and issued

amounting to Rs14.632”. This number reached 66 in the subsequent report submitted by KPMG. “Various emails evidencing that DHFL promoters were in control of multiple entities to the extent of appointment of directors and auditors, having income tax notices, maintenance of secretarial records of various companies”.

It also found that loans and advances to the tune of Rs 25,595 crores were disbursed to 65 entities having various deficiencies such as borrowers had minimal operations, inadequate loan documentation, mortgage security valuation and others, states the report accessed by ET reads. The audit also observed that repayments of 169 entities of Rs 5,476 crores could not be traced in DHFL’s bank account statements.

CBI probes Wadhawan brothers in the biggest bank fraud case

It also found a “Bandra Book entity”, that maintained the details of non-existing retail loans using dummy names which were maintained in a separate accounting system and then transferred to main accounting software of DHFL called Synergy. Rs 14,095.08 crores stated as project finance was prima facie falsely stated as retail loans and 1.81,664 fictions retail loan accounts were created for the same, the report states.


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