Home >Companies >News >CBI books Avantha promoter in 466-crore Yes Bank fraud case

NEW DELHI : The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against Gautam Thapar, the promoter of Avantha Group, and others for alleged diversion of public money to the tune of 466.15 crore, following a complaint by Yes Bank, people familiar with the development said.

CBI teams carried out searches at 14 locations in the national capital region, Lucknow, Secunderabad and Kolkata, officials said on Wednesday.

Thapar is already under investigation in a case registered by CBI in March 2020 for allegedly bribing Rana Kapoor, the co-founder of Yes Bank.

Thapar is alleged to have sold a lavish bungalow situated on 1.2 acres at 40, Amrita Shergill Marg, in New Delhi to Kapoor at half its market price in lieu of a loan of around 1,900 crore granted by the bank to his group company.

It has been alleged that a bribe of 307 crore was paid during the sale of the bungalow.

In the latest case, CBI has named Thapar, Raghubir Kumar Sharma, Rajendra Kumar Mangal and Tapsi Mahajan, directors of an Avantha holding company, Oyster Buildwell Pvt. Ltd, and unidentified executives of Avantha Realty Pvt. Ltd and Jhabua Power Ltd (JPL). More than 97% stake of Oyster Buildwell is held by Avantha Realty and the remaining by Thapar and Vani Agencies.

The central investigation agency has alleged that the accused have indulged in a criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating, and forgery for the diversion of 466.15 crore of public money.

The complaint by Yes Bank, now a part of the first information report, has alleged that JPL, a group concern of Oyster Buildwell, entered in an operations and maintenance contract for its 600 MW power plant with its holding company Jhabua Power Investment Ltd (JPIL) for 10 years.

Oyster Buildwell was required to pay an interest-free refundable security deposit of 515 crore to JPIL, for which Yes Bank had sanctioned a long-term loan of 515 crore for 10 years.

The company defaulted on payments and the account turned into a non-performing asset on 30 October 2019.

The total outstanding principal dues are 466.15 crore, it alleged.

An email sent to Avantha Group seeking comments on remained unanswered till the time this story went to press.

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