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RP Infosystems director Kaustav Ray. Photo: Indranil Bhoumik/Mint
RP Infosystems director Kaustav Ray. Photo: Indranil Bhoumik/Mint

Two directors of Kolkata’s RP Infosystems held for bank fraud

CBI arrests Kaustuv Ray and Shivaji Panja, directors of RP Infosystems for allegedly defrauding banks of at least Rs515 crore

Kolkata: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday arrested Kaustuv Ray and Shivaji Panja, directors of RP Infosystems Pvt. Ltd, which used to make computer hardware, for allegedly defrauding a consortium of lenders of at least Rs515 crore.

A spokesperson for the Central Bureau of Investigation confirmed the development, saying that after an initial probe, the investigating agency felt the need to detain them for further questioning.

The company was being investigated for years for allegedly drawing loans—from as many as 17 banks at one point—by allegedly furnishing “fabricated" documents.

In December 2013, IDBI Bank Ltd had filed a complaint alleging diversion of funds by the maker of Chirag computers using fake documents.

It was at that time the leader of the lenders’ consortium.

The agency had conducted an investigation and has filed a chargesheet, but Canara Bank, one of the lenders to the company, had filed another complaint at the end of February, alleging that the Central Bureau of Investigation’s probe into the alleged fraud was restricted only to IDBI Bank’s exposure.

RP Info Systems has challenged the investigating agency’s chargesheet.

Canara Bank said in its complaint that it had provided Rs40 crore to RP Infosystems as a working capital loan, and that it had reported it as fraud to the Reserve Bank of India, or RBI, back in 2015.

However, it isn’t immediately clear why the bank didn’t seek a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the alleged fraud until now.

RP Infosystems had overstated its inventory and had produced falsified invoices to obtain loans, Canara Bank has said in its recent complaint to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

In fiscal year 2013-14, the RP Infosystems wrote off inventory valued at Rs397.62 crore and receivables valued at Rs499.30 crore, Canara Bank has said in its complaint.

Ray and Panja were not immediately available for comments.

Ray had said after Canara Bank filed its complaint last month that CBI had concluded its investigation into RP Infosystems and that the company had offered to repay its bank loans under a settlement scheme.

Canara Bank’s complaint shows 11 lenders, including the erstwhile leader of the lenders’ consortium IDBI Bank, had started proceedings to recover Rs651 crore in all. At one point, RP Infosystems had borrowed from 17 banks.

Ray and Panja have partitioned their business interests, which once included film, media, tea plantation and computer hardware.

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