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Three more directors of PMC Bank arrested in fraud case

Trio was unable to provide satisfactory explanations, say police

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police on Tuesday arrested three more directors of the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank in connection with the alleged multi-crore rupee fraud in the bank that came to light earlier this year.

The EOW had in September registered an FIR against PMC Bank officials and directors of the Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) group after the bank had allegedly advanced large amounts of money to the group in the form of unsecured loans.

The exposé

The scam came to light when the bank could no longer take the financial damage, as the outstanding debts of the HDIL group touched a high of ₹4,635.32 crore, and the Reserve Bank of India had to place restrictions on its transactions.

According to EOW officials, the accused have been identified as Jagdish Mookhey, Mukti Bavisi and Trupti Bane. Officials said the trio was called to the EOW office on Tuesday afternoon for questioning in connection with the case.

“Mr. Mookhey was on the audit committee of the bank from 2005 to 2010, while Ms. Bavisi was on the advances committee for two consecutive terms from 2011 till date. Ms. Bane was on the recovery committee from 2010 to 2015. As such, the tenure of all the three directors corresponds to the time period during which the offence was committed. Further, the posts they held also put them in a position to know about the scam, and they could have either prevented it or reported it to the authorities,” an EOW officer said.

The trio was questioned for hours regarding the irregularities in the bank’s accounts and the malpractices with respect to the loans. “Their custodial interrogation was deemed necessary after they could not provide satisfactory explanations on the questions asked to them. Hence, they were arrested at 5.30 p.m. on Tuesday,” Mumbai Police spokesperson, DCP Pranaya Ashok, said.

Mr. Ashok added that the trio will be produced in court on Wednesday.

Tuesday’s arrests take the number of arrests in the case to 12. The EOW has so far arrested HDIL promoters Rakesh and Sarang Wadhawan, PMC Bank’s ex-chairman Wariyam Singh, its former managing director Joy Thomas, three independent auditors and two other directors, including the son of former Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Sardar Tara Singh in connection with the case.

The EOW is also currently in the process of liquidating the Wadhawans’ assets so the bank can be reimbursed for its losses, easing the woes of customers.

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