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Another multi-crore scam comes to light at PNB

Yet another multi-crore scam, involving senior officials, has come to the fore in the Punjab National Bank (PNB). This time, the officers connived with a businessman and approved Rs 6.5 crore for expansion of his hotel that did not exist on ground, despite knowing the fact that the company had earlier cheated the bank of Rs 2 crore in the name of building the same hotel.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided the houses of PNB officer S B Gupta, a manager, and the businessman on Wednesday and seized the incriminating documents pertaining to the fraud.

In 2007, sources said, AV Kings Oak Hotel and Resort Private Limited had applied for a loan of Rs 2 crore from the bank’s Sector 16 branch to construct a hotel in Chhat village, near Zirakpur.

The loan was approved and Ashish Kapoor, the director of AV Kings, transferred the amount in three installments — Rs 1 crore on April 4, 2007, Rs 50 lakh each on May 25 and July 2, 2007 — to his current account (0575002100052801).

A CBI official said: “The PNB officials kept on releasing the installments despite being aware that no construction work was going on at the hotel site. The entire money was pocketed. This points to connivance to commit fraud.”

In 2008, the A V Kings Oak Hotel and Resort Private Limited sent a proposal to the bank for expanding the same hotel that was never built.

“The bank officers approved Rs 6.5 crore for the extension. This is the fraud we are investigating. A number of PNB officers are involved in the scam,” added the official.

The fraud came to light when six acres of A V Kings land was advertised for sale.

Two similar cases involving PNB officers had made headlines in the past. Adopting the same modus operandi, the accused had forwarded loans to the tune of crores to people and later wrote off the amounts.

Source:Express India


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