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Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint
Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

CBI files bank fraud case against Paramount Airways

The Central Bureau of Investigation says Paramount Airways promoter M. Thiagarajan is under probe for allegedly diverting loan to offshore account

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against the defunct Paramount Airways Pvt. Ltd and its promoter M. Thiagarajan for allegedly defrauding and diverting loan to offshore accounts.

Immediately after registering a case, CBI sleuths swooped on seven locations and carried out searches in Chennai and Madurai.

The CBI alleged that Thiagarajan had submitted fake documents to get a scheduled operator’s licence and had also opened an offshore account in the British Virgin Islands in the name of a company which was headquartered in Singapore.

He allegedly diverted loans from State Bank of India, Andhra Bank, Indian Overseas and Bank of India to the offshore account between April 2008 and October 2010.

The CBI alleged that the managing director of the company had moved the assets without the knowledge of the bank which had extended him credit for the airlines.

It is alleged that the accused regularly siphoned off large amount of money and showed them as payment towards lease rental-engine access.

Thiagarajan was not immediately available for comments and an SMS sent to his mobile remain unanswered.

The CBI also alleged that he had “induced" the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to issue a no-objection certificate for scheduled operators permit by submitting false and fabricated information about the eligibility criteria.

Paramount Airlines started operations in 2005 and was flying to south and eastern parts of India before it wound up operations in 2010.

The company submitted a plan to restart operations with six ATR aircraft in 2013 but the banks wrote to the DGCA asking it to stop the operations of Paramount Airways until the company paid its dues.

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