ED attaches properties of sugar firm worth Rs 109 crore

New Delhi, July 2 : The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday said it has attached the assets of Simbhaoli Sugars Ltd in Hapur in Uttar Pradesh worth Rs 109 crore for defrauding a bank.

An ED statement said the properties included land, buildings and plant and machinery of the company situated at Simbhaoli.

It said the attachment was made under the money laundering act.

The agency registered a case on the basis of a FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation against Simbhaoli Sugars Ltd and others for cheating and defrauding the Oriental Bank of Commerce on the pretext of financing sugarcane farmers.

According to the CBI FIR, the company was given a loan of Rs 148.59 crore by the bank to give assistance to 5,762 farmers but the funds were diverted for other purposes.

The ED had searched the offices of the company in Uttar Pradesh's Noida and Simbhaoli and seized incriminating documents.

During investigation it was revealed that the company was facing a liquidity crunch and approached the bank for loan under the interest subvention scheme of RBI under a tie-up with 5,762 farmers to finance them for pre- and post-harvest.

The agency said the funds meant to be paid by the company to the farmers were not remitted to the accounts of the farmers.

It said that there were serious irregularities in the KYC documents.

"The loan then turned NPA with Rs 98.7 crore (principal) outstanding and the bank filed a recovery suit before the debt recovery tribunal (DRT)," it said.

The agency said the loan funds were diverted into other accounts.

"The company thus laundered the funds intended for assistance to the needy farmers, in utter violation of the terms and conditions and the intent of the loan," it said.

The ED said that instead of settling the entire loan liability, the company again induced the Oriental Bank of Commerce to withdraw the application before the Debts Recovery Tribunal and grant a fresh corporate loan of Rs 110 crore on January 28, 2015 to clear the previous dues.

It said the company again deliberately failed to repay the said corporate loan and at the time of the FIR Rs 109.8 crore were outstanding.

The company offered a One Time Settlement (OTS) amount of Rs 14.69 crore against the entire outstanding.

"This highlights an ingenious modus operandi of money laundering by taking huge loans from banks and later settling them at heavily discounted sums, thereby causing huge wrongful losses to lender banks," it said.



Source: IANS