CBI FIR against Mehul Choksi for cheating banking consortium of Rs 55.27 crore
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a fresh FIR against fugitive diamond merchant Mehul Choksi on Tuesday for allegedly cheating Canara bank-led consortium to the tune of Rs 55.27 crores. Confirming the development on Thursday, a CBI spokesperson said a Mumbai-based jewellery firm and three of its other directors have also been booked in the case.
Sources in the agency said that the case was registered against Bezel Jewellery (India) Private Limited; its directors were identified as Choksi, Chetna Jayantilal Jhaveri, Dinesh Gopaldas Bhatia and Milind Anant Limaye along with unknown public servants.
CBI officials said that Choksi’s company was sanctioned a Working Capital Facility of Rs 30 crore and Rs 25 crore respectively, by Canara Bank and Bank of Maharashtra under a consortium arrangement. The loan was sanctioned for the manufacturing and sale of gold and diamond-studded jewellery.
However, the authorities have learnt that the funds were allegedly used to repay the firm’s long-term borrowings.
“In the initial year of availment of limit, the company repaid its long term borrowing of Rs 18 crore to its parent company (Gitanjali Gems) and thereby, diverted entire limit of Rs 10 crore of Canara Bank to said parent company on the date of availment of loan itself,” read the press note issued by CBI.
It further said that the company has not routed any of the business transactions through the account, which indicates diversion of funds.
“A bank guarantees limit of Rs 20 crore which was being availed from HDFC Bank was also invoked and the same was paid by Canara Bank by converting the Non-Fund Based limit to Fund Based limit,” the CBI press note added.
The officials further said that Choksi’s company allegedly entered into fraudulent transactions and defaulted in making payment to the banks by diverting and siphoning off the funds.
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