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CBI conducts searches against meat exporter on bank fraud charge

Case instituted on a complaint from Punjab National Bank that headed the consortium

The CBI on Thursday conducted searches in connection with a case against leading meat exporter, Hind Agro Industries Limited, and its directors for allegedly cheating a consortium of banks of about ₹222 crore.

“The searches were carried out on the premises of accused persons at five places in Aligarh and Delhi,” said a CBI official. Apart from the company, nine persons have been named in the FIR. Among them are its managing director, Sirajuddin Qureshi, and director Kiran Qureshi.

The case has been instituted on a complaint from Punjab National Bank that headed the consortium.

The company exports meat and meat products to 55 overseas destinations in Europe, Asia and Africa, mainly to Philippines, Malaysia, Jordan, Lebanan, Dubai, Egypt, Iran, Denmark and China.

According to the agency, it was a subsidiary of Hind Industries Limited, which holds 70.49% stake. The remaining stake was held by Pradeshiya Industrial and Investment Corporation of UP Limited, Pashudhan Udyog Nigam Limited, Sirajuddin Qureshi and Kiran Qureshi.

The company, through its directors and promoters, availed itself of credit facilities of over ₹357 crore from the consortium January 2011 onwards. The account became irregular from November-December 2014 and it was classified as a non-performing asset.

Parked somewhere abroad

A forensic audit revealed that the a sizeable portion of the sale proceeds was never received by the company and it allegedly did not make any effort to recover the receivables. It is suspected that the proceeds were instead parked somewhere abroad.

In 2015-16, as alleged, the company had made long and short-term advance payments of ₹154.58 crore to most of its related parties that were in the same trade. This also raised suspicion that business income was siphoned off.

The bank alleged that the company misused the concessions of export credit facilities, manipulated sale turnover figures, made major exports to a single party, Farm Land Foods Product LLP, and its allied concern, Al Fauj General Taj Trading LLC. The total amount recoverable from it in March 2016 was ₹74.80 crore. However, the borrower company allegedly wrote off the entire amount.

The company also allegedly maintained current accounts with other banks, submitted false information to the lenders and also overvalued its stocks.

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