Bhubaneswar: P.K. Iyer, vice chairman of the Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd. (DCHL), was arrested from a hotel here on Saturday in connection with an alleged loan fraud. Odisha Police later handed over Iyer, who was on the run, to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), a police officer said.
“The CBI was looking for Iyer in connection with an alleged fraud to the tune of Rs.357 crore from Canara Bank,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Satyabrat Bhoi. He said Iyer was staying in the hotel in the name of Chitra Athwani for about two months and was planning to flee in the next two-three days. “The accused had availed multiple short-term corporate loans by submitting false financial statements in 2009-11,” the officer added.
Police sources said Iyer had stayed in Kolkata and Port Blair before coming to Bhubaneswar. The CBI will take him on transit remand for interrogation. The Canara Bank had lodged a complaint with the CBI against the company’s promoters in 2013 after the company defaulted on a loan amounting to over Rs.350 crore. A fraud case was registered against Iyer in Hyderabad.
Earlier this year, the chairman of Deccan Chronicle, T. Venkattram Reddy, was arrested by the CBI in Hyderabad along with his brother and managing director T. Vinayak Ravi Reddy. The DCHL, which publishes the English daily Deccan Chronicle, argued that the arrests were made in violation of Supreme Court orders. The Canara Bank alleged that they availed loans and cash credit aggregating to Rs.1,230 crore by submitting false and fabricated financial statements and by suppressing the borrowings taken from other banks. The bank claimed that the total loss caused to it was about Rs.357.77 crore.