Seven months after filing a closure report against the office bearers of International Mega Food Park Ltd (IMFPL) – a food processing facility in Fazilka district – in a Rs 33 crore bank fraud case, the CBI has again booked the officials recently on charges of defrauding four banks of Rs 109.90 crore in Chandigarh.
The four banks are the State Bank of India (SBI), which was allegedly cheated of Rs 35 crore, whereas the SIDBI was cheated of Rs 33.50 crore, the Union Bank of India of Rs 26.40 crore, and the IDBI Bank Ltd of Rs 15 crore.
The IMFPL has its registered office at House Number-3 in Sector-5, Chandigarh. The company is owned by managing director Sukhinder Singh, his wife and director Kanwal Sukhinder Singh, and their son and whole-time director Simarinder Singh.
Sukhinder Singh is a known figure in the political circles of Punjab. The other five persons who have been booked are US-based NRI Satyan Malhotra, Davinder Singh Jaaj of Sector-27, Gurpartap Singh of Sector-10, Nanki Singh of Gurugram, and Bhuinder Singh of Mumbai.
SBI deputy general manager Sanjay Kumar, in his complaint, has not ruled out the possibility of the involvement of certain bank officials in the fraud and criminal connivance with the IMFPL management.
In 2019, the CBI had booked the office bearers of the IMFPL for allegedly defrauding the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) of Rs 33.50 crore fraud. The investigation agency later filed a closure report in the case before the court of Sukhdev Singh, Special Judicial Magistrate, CBI, in District Courts, Sector 43, Chandigarh in August 2022.
A source said, “The fresh FIR against IMFPL Food Park was lodged on the complaint of a Deputy General Manager of State Bank of India (SBI), Sanjay Kumar. The alleged fraud was committed between April 2012 and March 2017. The fraud came to light following a financial audit conducted by a private firm, M/s PVRN and Co. The fraud took place at two branches in Chandigarh where the accused persons siphoned the funds by misappropriation of the bank’s finance.” He further said, “During the financial audit, many financial irregularities on the part of the IMFPL were found. The accused persons routed the procured loan money to other companies in the shape of unsecured loans. The IMFPL was bound to establish four primary processing centres (PPCs) and 12 collection centres (CC) but the company only established a few food processing units (FPUs).”
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