The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday said it has arrested a man in connection with its ongoing money laundering probe against a Bengaluru-based cooperative bank which is alleged to have misappropriated public funds to the tune of more than Rs 1,000 crore.
Rajesh VR has been taken into custody in the case of Sri Guru Raghavendra Sahakara Bank Niyamitha.
”He is the major beneficiary of the fund siphoned off from the bank in connivance with the management of the bank,” the ED said in a statement.
The agency, last year in February, had arrested the president of this co-op bank, K Ramakrishna.
Speaking about the role of Rajesh VR, the ED said ”according to the RBI’s inspection report, he availed loans of Rs 40.40 crore from the bank and has not repaid the same.” ”It is also noticed during investigation that there are multiple FIRs against Rajesh VR and his wife in case of public frauds committed by them in other cooperative banks/societies also. Hence, they are habitual offenders,” the ED alleged.
The ED case, filed under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in February 2020, stems from a Bengaluru Police FIR filed under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and that of the Karnataka Protection of Interest Depositors in Financial Establishments Act of 2004 against the lender and others.
”The bank promised to give higher interest rate to the depositors which was not in line with the prevailing market rate.” ”The bank officers created fictitious loan accounts and transferred the money to these accounts (without proper scrutiny of the loans) which in turn was transferred to overdue loan accounts for evergreening purposes to show strong financial health of the bank,” the ED alleged.
Assets worth Rs 45.32 crore have been attached by the agency in this case earlier.