Mumbai: The ousted Managing Director (MD) of the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) bank, Joy Thomas, not only helped the Wadhawans loot the bank, but he also allegedly managed to siphon off around Rs 10 crore from the treasury for his own purposes.
The revelation came during the on-going scrutiny of the bank’s records, which is being carried out under the supervision of the RBI-appointed administrator.
Reliable sources told the Free Press Journal that while abetting the masking of bad loans to HDIL and its affiliated firms, Thomas also managed to hide Rs. 10 crore which he had pocketed for himself.
“He (Thomas) had used similar methods (like the HDIL loans) to hide his own loans from the bank,” sources said.
To hide his own loans of Rs 10 crore, Thomas had activated some more dormant accounts in the PMC Central branch at Bhandup (w) and masked it using the same software which he had used to cover up over Rs 4,355 crore loans to HDIL through 21,049 ghost accounts, sources said.
Access to these accounts was through encrypted passwords, which only a handful Thomas’ confidants were aware of. These accounts were not connected to the core banking and went unnoticed during successive audits in the bank.
Text messages and calls made to RBI administrator J B Bhoria did not elicit any response. Meanwhile, sources said that Thomas is suspected to have purchased at least 8 flats in Pune and set up a café chain in Mumbai and Thane by using the money looted from the bank.
“While the Pune flats had been gifted to his second wife (who earlier used to work as his secretaryin the PMC), the cafeterias are run by his younger son from the firstmarriage,” sources said.
Thomas has two sons from his first marriage and the family lives in Bhandup. His second wife lives in Pune.
In fact, the discovery of the personal loot came as a shocker to the investigators who were ‘impressed’ by the simple living of the banker in Bhandup.
“Earlier, after seeing his modest home in Bhandup we presumed him (Thomas) to be a simple upright person who had got entangled in the HDIL mess involuntarily,” an officer said. “Now, we are having second thoughts,” he added.