PMC: EOW suspects ex-director a beneficiary of scam

Mumbai: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) investigators of the Rs 4,355 crore Punjab and Maharashtra Co-Operative (PMC) Bank scam now suspect that Surjit Singh Arora, a former director of the bank, had been a beneficiary of the financial crime.

Arora was arrested by EOW on Wednesday and a metropolitan magistrate’s court remanded him in police custody till October 22 on Thursday.

Seeking his custody, the police told the court that Arora had been elected as a director of the bank's board of directors for the specific purpose of ensuring proper functioning of the bank.

“However, he abused his official position to facilitate the fraud,” EOW said while maintaining that “his custodial interrogation has become imperative with a view of verify if illegal gratifications had been received by him and other officials for making favours."

Major deliberate lapses in keeping records of credit facilities of HDIL group companies are there in PMC Bank and Arora had turned a blind eye towards the maintenance of the bank accounts, EOW told the court.

Meanwhile, the court sent the Managing Director of the bank, Joy Thomas, to 14 days in judicial custody.

Arora, one of the 12 directors of the now-defunct board, is the fifth arrest in the case after EOW registered an FIR on October 1 to investigate the multi-crore scam, and he was arrested on Wednesday following questioning at the EOW headquarters in South Mumbai.

Like the other accused in the case, he too has been charged of fraud, cheating, falsification of accounts and criminal conspiracy, as per the FIR in the case.

The other accused in the case include, apart from Thomas, the promoters of the HDIL group Rakesh and Sarang Wadhwan and former chairman of the bank, Waryam Singh. The foursome have been sent in judicial custody.

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