The Central Bureau of Investigation has filed a chargesheet against Winsome Diamonds promoter Jatin Mehta, two former chairmen and managing directors (CMDs) of the Canara Bank and others for allegedly cheating the bank of ₹146 crore.
The agency has also sought an Interpol Red Notice against Mr. Mehta. The businessman and his wife are now citizens of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
The chargesheet has opened a possibility for the Enforcement Directorate to invoke the stringent Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, which allows for confiscation and disposal of all the assets of such fugitives in India and overseas, involved in financial crimes involving at least ₹100 crore.
The CBI, in the Winsome group case, has arraigned 21 accused persons, including Mr. Mehta, his company, wife and 15 public servants. Among them are former bank CMDs Avinash Chander Mahajan and Sunder Rajan Raman, besides former executive director Archana Bhargava, said the agency.
According to the CBI, the company had bought gold from three overseas bullion banks, the Bank of Nova Scotia, Standard Bank and Standard Chartered Bank, on the guarantees extended by the Indian bank.
The gold was processed and sent to 13 purported buyers in the UAE, which did not make payments. The company allegedly defaulted on the payments on the pretext that export proceeds were not received from the foreign buyers, which resulted in invoking of guarantees by the bullion banks. It caused a “wrongful” loss of ₹146.35 crore to the Canara Bank.
Similar modus operandi was employed by the accused in the 10 other cases being pursued by the CBI. The total amount involved in the alleged scam is said to be more than ₹6,000 crore.