Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has launched an investigation against the proprietor of a private firm for alleged forgery and fraud involving the State Bank of India (SBI). The CBI's action follows a complaint dated July 15, 2023, filed by Amit Jog, Deputy General Manager of SBI, Zonal Office, Santacruz (West).
The complaint is directed against the proprietor of a private company in Chembur engaged in transporting bulk Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) through specialised tanker trucks from refineries of HPCL/BPCL/IOCL to their bottling plants in Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Karnataka.
Term loan of Rs 2 Crore obtained by firm
The firm had obtained a Term Loan of Rs 2 crores to purchase ten new tankers. These vehicles, which were the primary security and hypothecated with the bank, were registered with the Regional Transport Officer (RTO), Panvel, Mumbai. The charge on these vehicles was noted with the RTO to ensure that the borrower couldn't sell or transfer ownership without the bank's knowledge and consent.
"It is alleged in the complaint that despite the charge being marked on these vehicles, the proprietor forged a false letter dated 15.02.2012 purportedly issued by SBI. The forged letter used fictitious/fake letterheads, SBI rubber stamps, and forged signatures of SBI officials to present a 'No Objection Certificate' to RTO, Panvel, Mumbai, effectively terminating the hypothecation. RTO, Panvel, Mumbai canceled the hypothecation of these ten vehicles on 18.02.2012. Subsequently, the proprietor sold these vehicles to another person," revealed an agency source.
Aug 2009 term loan
Furthermore, the complaint outlines that in August 2009, the firm obtained a second Term Loan of Rs 2 crores for the purchase of eight additional tankers. These eight vehicles, also registered with RTO Mokokchung, Nagaland, were hypothecated to SBI and the charge was registered/marked with RTO, Mokokchung, to prevent unauthorized sale or transfer. However, these eight vehicles, purchased under the second Term Loan, are currently untraceable.
A case has been registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 120B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing property delivery), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc.), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating), and 471 (using a forged document as genuine). Relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act have also been invoked.