April 14, 2018 / 4:44 PM / 12 days ago

CBI files case against former UCO Bank chairman

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said on Saturday it has filed a case against a former chairman of state-run UCO Bank and several business executives alleging criminal conspiracy that caused a loss of 6.21 billion rupees ($95.17 million).

Leaflets advertising loans are pictured inside a commercial branch of the UCO Bank in Mumbai June 1, 2013. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash/File Photo

Police said officials at the bank had colluded with private infrastructure firm Era Engineering Infra Ltd, and investment banking firm Altius Finserve Pvt Ltd, to siphon bank loans.

CBI said in a statement that Arun Kaul, the bank’s chairman between 2010-2015, had helped clear the loan.

Kaul did not respond to Reuters’ calls for comment. Era Engineering and Altius Finserve did not respond to calls outside of regular business hours.

The case reveals yet another banking fraud in India since February when two jewellery groups were accused of using nearly $2 billion of fraudulent bank guarantees, in what has been dubbed the biggest fraud in India’s banking history.

That case put the banking sector under a cloud, with the CBI unearthing a string of other bank frauds since then.

In the UCO Bank case, it charged Kaul and several officials and accountants at the two companies with criminal conspiracy with an intention to defraud the bank of about 6.21 billion rupees by diverting and siphoning loans, according to the statement.

“The loan was not utilized for the sanctioned purpose and was secured by producing false end use certificates issued by the chartered accountant and by fabricating business data,” the CBI said.

The offices of the companies, accountants and the residences of the accused are being searched, the CBI said.

($1 = 65.2500 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Clelia Oziel

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