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PMC Bank case: former MLA’s son arrested

Rajneet Singh, a former director, is the fourth official of the bank to be taken in custody

The Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai Police on Saturday arrested Rajneet Singh, son of former BJP MLA Sardar Tara Singh, in connection with the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank case. Mr. Rajneet Singh is a former director of the bank and the ninth accused to be arrested in the case.

The EOW had on September 30 filed an FIR against officials of the PMC as well as the Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) group, after it came to light that the bank had advanced hundreds of crores of rupees in loans to the HDIL Group, while simultaneously hiding the losses caused by that company to the bank.

According to EOW officers, Mr. Rajneet Singh, apart from being a director, was also on the recovery committee of the bank.

“He was interrogated regarding the loan facilities awarded by the bank to the HDIL group’s companies and their long pending dues, as well as efforts made to recover or regularise the said dues. However, he provided unsatisfactory and unconvincing explanations, due to which, he was placed under arrest on Saturday,” Mumbai Police spokesperson DCP Pranaya Ashok said.

Mr. Rajneet Singh is the fourth official of the bank to be arrested so far. The EOW has already arrested ex-chairman Waryam Singh, ex-managing director Joy Thomas and ex-director Surjit Singh Arora, who was also on the loans committee of the bank. Apart from these, the police have also arrested HDIL group promoters Sarang and Rakesh Wadhawan, and three independent auditors accused of deliberately hiding the irregularities so that they could escape any action by the Reserve Bank of India.

“The sustained camouflaging of accounts, which went on for years, added to the depositors’ woes. Inquiries so far indicate that everyone — bank officials, HDIL promoters, auditors — played an active part in this subterfuge. Customers kept thinking all was well with the bank and kept depositing or investing their money, and even encouraged others to open accounts with the bank. As a result, the losses sustained when the matter finally blew up were higher than they could have been, had the truth been revealed in 2013, when HDIL’s loans became Non- Performing Assets (NPAs),” an officer who is part of the investigation said.

Mr. Rajneet Singh will be produced in a holiday court on Sunday, where the EOW will seek his custody for further interrogation.

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