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PMC Bank Scam | Arrest of the Former MD Joy Thomas

Mr. Joy Thomas, the former Managing Director of PMC Bank(Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative Bank Ltd-Home)has been summoned to the EOW office (Economic Offences Wing) at the city police headquarters of Mumbai and arrested after proper questioning, as per a police officer. He was arrested because of the alleged connection with the Rs 4,355 crore scam of the PMC Bank. The HDIL chairman and managing director of PMC Bank, Rakesh Wadhawan and his son Sarang were also sent in Police custody on Friday, 4th October 2019 till 9th October 2019.The chairman had been arrested by the special investigation team (SIT) of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police on Thursday, 3rd October 2019 and was brought before a local court on Friday, 4th October 2019.

The EOW registered an FIR on Monday, 30th September 2019 against the senior officers of HDIL and the PMC Bank for allegedly causing losses of up to Rs 4,355.43 crore to the bank.

A Property worth Rs 3,500 crore that belonged to the company has been seized by the EOW during the investigation period.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has also started an investigation by registering a case of money laundering, as per another official. The ED on Friday, 4th October 2019 raided six different locations in Mumbai and other nearby areas and registered a money-laundering case to give light to the alleged fraud in the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank case.

They said that the raids were conducted after an official criminal complaint was filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) by the central agency. The Enforcement Directorate case is based on an FIR that had been filed by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police. According to the sources of the ED, The raids are aimed at gathering additional evidence for the case.

The case of The ED and Mumbai Police is against the former bank management and promoters of the Housing Development Infrastructure Limited (HDIL).

Based on a complaint by an RBI-appointed administrator, the police complaint had been filed earlier this week on the charges of forgery, cheating and criminal conspiracy against the officials.

The names of the bank's former chairman Waryam Singh, managing director Joy Thomas and other senior officers, along with the HDIL director Rakesh Wadhawan have been included in the police FIR, now taken cognizance by the ED. 

Describing the modus operandi of the alleged irregularities, the police FIR had said that the HDIL promoters had colluded with the bank management, to draw loans from its Bhandup branch.

The ED sources have said that they are also looking for evidence for the alleged tainted assets of the accused so that the evidence can be attached under the PMLA. 

In spite of non-payment, the bank officials did not even classify the loans as non-performing advances, and intentionally they hid the information about this from the Central Bank of India, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the police added. They also created fictitious accounts of companies that borrowed small sums of money and created fake reports of the bank to hide from the regulatory supervision, it added.

The police FIR has been filed under the following sections:

  1. Section 409 (criminal breach of trust by a public servant or banker) of the Indian Penal Code
  2. Section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code
  3. Sections 465, 466 and 471 (related to forgery) of the Indian Penal Code
  4. Section 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code

The PMC bank, which has 137 branches all over India and over Rs 11,000 crore in deposits, has been put under various restrictions since last week after the RBI discovered financial irregularities in the functioning of the lender.

According to the sources, the overall exposure of the multi-state bank to the financially stressed HDIL group is around Rs 6,500 crore or over 73 percent of the advances, and all of it is not being serviced.

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image source-The Indian Express

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