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A vendor wearing a protective mask arranges gold jewellery. (REUTERS)
A vendor wearing a protective mask arranges gold jewellery. (REUTERS)

CBI files FIR against jewellery firm for duping bank

The Central Bureau of Investigation has lodged an FIR against a Vadodara-based jewellery firm, Shree Mukt Jewellers Baroda Private Limited and its director Harsh Soni for allegedly cheating the Bank of Baroda to the tune of 173.63 crore jewellery firm for duping bank

VADODARA : The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has lodged an FIR against a Vadodara-based jewellery firm and its director for allegedly cheating the Bank of Baroda to the tune of 173.63 crore.

The First Information Report (FIR) was lodged on Tuesday by the CBI at its ACB-Gandhinagar office against Shree Mukt Jewellers Baroda Private Limited, its promoter-cum- director Harsh Soni and unknown persons.

As per the bank's complaint, Soni is absconding.

In its complaint to the CBI, the Bank of Baroda accused the company, its director and others of "criminal conspiracy, criminal misconduct, cheating, forgery and diversion of public funds".

The company was into traditional gold and jewellery business in Vadodara and was sanctioned a Letter of Credit, cash credit and term loan facilities by the bank in 2013.

"But, it failed to repay the dues and the account became NPA (non-performing asset) in February 2016 and was declared as a wilful defaulter by the bank in 2018. The outstanding balance as on March, 31, 2019 is Ra 173.63 crore," the FIR said.

Suspecting a fraud, the bank conducted a forensic audit and learnt that "all the three suppliers with whom the company entered into transactions of buying gold and ornaments are related to each other", it said.

An internal investigation by the bank revealed that two of these suppliers were having common directors while two were registered on same address.

One of the suppliers, M/s P Gold Pvt Ltd, was into real estate business and not gold, according to the FIR.

"The borrower company transferred 38.02 crore and got back 9.11 crore and diverted 28.91 crore through P Gold Pvt Ltd. It is suspected that the borrower company has misused the Letter of Credit facility for routing funds and diverting funds of business," the FIR mentioned citing the forensic audit report.

It further said the company allegedly indulged in round tripping transactions to show inflated turnover and funds were also transferred to accounts of other firms having common directors.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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