PMC bank scam: 44 HDIL A/Cs were ‘masked’

Mumbai: Forty-four ‘borrowal’ accounts in the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank, belonging to HDIL and its affiliates, had been ‘masked,’ with a view to hide these from the core banking system of the bank, the EOW has learnt.

Due to the sinister ploy, the loan default scam perpetrated in the bank over the years went unnoticed during successive audits.

Though access to the other accounts (saving, current or loan) was available to the employees of the bank as well as auditors, access to the aforesaid 44 accounts was masked by using special encrypted passwords.

"The operational so-ftware of the bank had been tweaked for this purpose," sources explained.

The EOW has 'identified a select group of employees' who had access to these accounts since 2008 as they knew the passwords. "They had complete knowledge of the crime," an EOW official said, adding that their names would be included in the FIR following questioning.

So far, the police and the Reserve Bank of India appointed administrator have been able to detect borrowals of about Rs 4355. 46 crore made to these accounts between 2008 and August 31, 2019.

The masking was necessary to hide the huge non-refunded personal loans allotted to HDIL promoters, Rakesh and Sarang Wadhwan," sources said. In fact, outstanding borrowals in two personal accounts belonging to

Rakesh and Sarang Wadhwan amounted to Rs 2008.62 crore and Rs 137.16 crore, respectively. Meanwhile, the EOW on Thursday roped in an audit firm to help conduct forensic audit of the documents seized during searches at the PMC bank's central office and premises of the HDIL corporate office at Bandra.

By Debasish Panigrahi

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