Hawala angle emerges in PMC Bank probe

A hawala angle has now emerged in the investigations into the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank loan case, with the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) probing large shareholding deposits made by a Dubai based investor.

The EOW is probing alleged misconduct on part of the PMC in granting massive loans to the Housing Development and Infrastruture Limited (HDIL) group, which caused losses to the tune of ₹4,335 crore to the bank. So far, HDIL promoters Rakesh and Sarang Wadhawan, former PMC MD Joy Thomas and ex-chairman Wariyam Singh have been arrested in the case.

Sources said the angle emerged while the bank’s balance sheets were being studied. It was observed that large amounts of money had been invested by a shareholder, identified so far only as Mehta, based in Dubai.

“We pursued this and found facts to indicate that Mr. Thomas would debit money to HDIL’s holding accounts. He would then withdraw this money and send it through hawala channels to Dubai. The same money was deposited as shareholding in the bank from Dubai. We are finding out whether the number of shares owned by Mehta increased after 2008, which is when the fraud began,” an EOW officer said. Investigations have also indicated that Mr. Thomas was working hand-in-glove with the Wadhawans and was making every effort to shield HDIL’s financial troubles.

“Mr. Thomas never brought up the subject of HDIL during the bank’s board meetings to ensure that no questions were raised,” the officer said.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 12:57:15 PM |

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