Published On: Sat, Mar 14th, 2020

Ex-J&K Minister’s son charge-sheeted in Rs 177 cr bank fraud

Jammu: Almost 10 days after the Central Bureau of Investigation filed a Rs 177 crore bank fraud case against Hilal Rather, son of former J&K Finance Minister and National Conference leader Abdul Rahim Rather, the CBI charge-sheeted him and two bank employees on Saturday.

It was handed over to the CBI because of “international ramifications” of the conspiracy of loan funds diversion

The charge-sheeted bank Officials are Iqbal Singh and Arun Kapoor, both then J&K Bank branch head, New University Campus.

The case was earlier investigated by the J&K Police’s anti-corruption branch. It was handed over to the CBI because of “international ramifications” of the conspiracy of loan funds diversion.

A CBI official said it was alleged that Hilal entered into criminal conspiracy with the J&K Bank officials to get a Rs 177.68 crore loan sanctioned in violation of rules and guidelines.

“The loan amount, sanctioned for construction of flats, were allegedly diverted and misappropriated by the accused using the bank accounts of his employees,” the official said.

The accused submitted forged certificates and bills to the bank, he said and added, the bank officials didn’t verify documents and helped the accused in siphoning off the loan amount and laundering of money.

According to the CBI, the loan was sanctioned without any collateral. The account turned bad in 2017, the official said.

The ACB had concluded in its report, now part of the FIR, Rs 26 crore was diverted for purchase of expensive gifts, holidays abroad and hosting shows of TV and film celebrities.

A part of loan amount was used to pay fuel bills and salary of employees of Simula Software Solutions, besides taking the Simula Cricket team, a sister concern of Paradise Avenue owned by Rather, to Dubai and Sharjah for playing T-20 tournament and sponsoring the show of a famous TV stand-up comedian, it said.

The ACB also found that money was allegedly transferred to a Dubai bank account and was used for purchase of three properties and making investment in Al Ahli Saudi Trading Equity Fund and Mashreq Al Islamic Income Fund.

Despite non-payment of the first loan, three more term loans were granted by the bank taking in total loan amount to Rs 177.68 crore, which remained unpaid, they said.

The bank management abused its official position to make an one-time settlement waiving Rs 50 crore from the outstanding dues, the CBI said.

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