Mumbai: Logistics company, directors booked by CBI in ₹128 cr cheating case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has recently registered yet another case against M/s Siddhi Vinayak Logistics Limited (SVLL) company and others for allegedly cheating erstwhile Allahabad Bank (now merged with the Indian Bank) to the tune of Rs 128.49 crore. One of the directors of the said company was also arrested by the CBI in 2017 for his involvement in the Rs 836.29 crore ‘Chalak se Malak’ vehicle scam.

Those booked have been identified as Belapur based SVLL company, its directors Rajkumar Baid, Laxmidevi Baid, Deepak Baid and promoter Roopchand Baid. The agency has registered a case of cheating and criminal conspiracy in the matter under the sections of the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act.

Founded in 2002, SVLL provides road transportation services to customers in India. The company reportedly has a large fleet of trucks and has a network throughout Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi NCR, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh.

According to the CBI, a written complaint was received recently from the Indian Bank alleging that SVLL and other accused persons during the period 2010 to 2020 were party to a criminal conspiracy to cheat erstwhile Allahabad Bank.

"In pursuance to the said conspiracy, the accused directors and guarantors of the SVLL induced the Allahabad Bank to sanction and disburse two-term loans of Rs 47.75 crore and Rs 120 crore respectively for the purchase of 593 commercial vehicles," said a CBI official.

In its FIR registered with the CBI, the bank has stated that during the verification with respective Regional Transport Office (RTO) authorities, the bank observed that the borrower company had not registered hypothecation charge on 153 vehicles with RTO in favour of Allahabad Bank.

"As per the bank, this indicates that either the company had not created the hypothecation charge on 153 vehicles with RTO in bank's favour or the company has later on disposed of the said vehicles, without the knowledge of the bank, which were required to be hypothecated for the purpose of securing the said term loans. It is further alleged in the complaint that the borrower did not cooperate with the bank for the physical inspection of the vehicles purchased out of the bank's finance to conceal the fraud," said the official.

The consortium of banks had carried out a financial audit, which clearly indicated that there was diversion of funds by the borrower company to various shell companies against term loan proceeds and instead the said proceeds were further transferred back to the borrower's account, the bank has alleged in its complaint.

"The bank stated in their complaint that the borrower failed to repay the loan amount and thereby the account of M/s SVLL was classified as NPA in July 2014 with an outstanding amount of Rs 128.49 crore and declared the said account as fraud to the RBI in June 2018. Thereby, the complainant bank had suffered wrongful loss of Rs 128.49 crore and corresponding wrongful gain to the accused directors and borrowers. It is also alleged in the complaint that the criminal involvement of the unknown public servants cannot be ruled out and requested to investigate the same," said the official.

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