The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday conducted searches at the Kanpur home and offices of Rotomac Pens promoter Vikram Kothari over unpaid bank loans, an agency spokesperson said.

Special Correspondent

The CBI had on Sunday registered an FIR against directors Vikram Kothari, Sadhana Kothari and Rahul Kothari, and unknown bank officials for allegedly defaulting on a loan of Rs 2,919 crore, according to a complaint by the Bank of Baroda.

“It was alleged in the complaint that in the Rotomac case, conspirators cheated a consortium of seven banks by siphoning off bank loans to the tune of Rs 2,919 crore (principal amount),” an official with the CBI said, adding that this does not include the interest liabilities of these loans.

The total outstanding amount, along with interest liabilities for M/s Rotomac, is Rs 3,695 crore.

The investigative agency began the raids at around 4am, sources familiar with the development said.

“The agency investigators are conducting searches at three places in Kanpur after registering the case,” the spokesperson said, adding Kothari, his wife and son were also being questioned.

The CBI action comes within days Punjab National Bank unearthing a Rs 11,400 crore-fraud involving billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle, Mehul Choksi.

There was no clarity on the loan amount but news agency PTI said Kothari borrowed more than Rs 800 crore from at least five state-owned banks, including Allahabad Bank, Bank of India and Union Bank of India.

Kothari had on Sunday denied reports he had fled the country after allegedly defaulting on payments.

“I am very much in Kanpur with my family and my businesses are running, “he said, adding he was in talks with the banks and had held three meetings.

Later in the evening he was also seen at a high-profile wedding. He took a loan of Rs 485 crore from Mumbai-based Union Bank of India and a loan of Rs 352 crore from Kolkata- based Allahabad Bank, PTI said.

In 2017, Bank of Baroda, a consortium partner, declared Rotomac Global Pvt Ltd a “wilful defaulter”.

The company moved the Allahabad high court against the decision. The court said the company was wrongly declared a wilful defaulter despite having “offered assets worth more than Rs 300 crore to the bank since the date of default”.

Rotomac was declared a wilful defaulter through an order dated February 27, 2017.

Feed : agency inputs