CBI Files Chargesheets in UBI Fraud by Topworth Group’s Firms
The Weekend Leader reported that Central Bureau of Investigation has filed chargesheet against 45 individuals, bank officials and companies in three separate cases pertaining to INR 150crore bank fraud, before the Special CBI Court in Mumbai. The accused include senior officials of Union Bank of India, private companies and their top directors, financial consultants and others. They are the top directors, owners, executives of the accused companies comprising of Suparna Trading, Asuti Trading, Excel Metal Processors, Navmi Steel Traders, Ratnesh Ispat, Geeta Mercantile, Sanjar Steel, Maheep Marketing, Jalpac Traders, Metcraft Alloys, and Deepstar Alloys & Steels,
Among the accused bankers are Ashok Dhabai, the former DGM and UBI Regional Head, Mumbai, Sanjay Sharma and the ex-GM and Zonal Head and a financial consultant Bajrang Kankani. The prime accused individuals include Narendra Phatkare, Kundan Setia, Abhay Lodha, Ashok Mehta, Vinod Jatia, Rupesh Gupta, Kunal Gupta, Vishwanath Agarwal, Alkesh Parekh, Mohammed Kutbuddin Khan, Gajendra Sandim, Nilesh Parekh, Wali Mohammed Chaudhary, Hemant Sanghvi, Mahavir Jaiswal, Imran Khan, Rajkumar Goel, Dilip Bhimraj Shah, Mohammed Iqbal Khan, Siddharth Madanlal Bagrecha and Vijay Babulal Jain.
Following a complaint from UBI, the CBI had lodged three separate cases in June 2019 and later in March 2020 involving the individuals and companies in collusion with bank officers who allegedly perpetrated the huge fraud. It was carried out by the borrowers of the private companies in connivance with the UBI officers vide opening of Letters of Credit without processing, appraisal, assessment, internal rating, regular sanction from the Competent Authority and without proper mortgage. The CBI investigations revealed that the borrower companies allegedly connived with fake suppliers to submit false and fabricated tax invoices, bills of exchange, forged lorry receipts, etc while discounting the LCs from various banks. After the first complaint, a chargesheet was lodged against 13 accused of an alleged fraud of INR 57 crore, in the second complaint against 16 accused the fraud amount was around INR 50 crore and in the third case it was against 16 more accused for the fraud to the tune of around INR 50 crore.
CBI alleged that the Topworth Group of Companies Chairman Mr Abhay Lodha played a major role and arranged for availing credit facility from the UBI for all the three accused borrowers by submitting fake financial data through one of his staffers. Mr Lodha also allegedly made his employees as 'directors' in various name-sake supplier companies to issue fabricated documents and siphoned off the loan amounts through them.