ED raids former NSIC, UBI officials in money laundering case

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 09-12-2021 19:53 IST | Created: 09-12-2021 19:52 IST
ED raids former NSIC, UBI officials in money laundering case
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI
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The ED has raided some former West Bengal-based officials of the National Small Industries Corporation and the United Bank of India in a money laundering probe linked to purported loss of over Rs 173 crore to the corporation by allegedly invoking fake bank guarantees, the agency said on Thursday.

The raids were conducted on November 7 at the residential premises of the then NSIC zonal deputy general manager (DGM) Manik Lal Das, another DGM Gopinath Bhattacharya, former NSIC marketing manager Jayanta Das, former United Bank of India (UBI) managers Manik Mohan Mishra and Pradeep Kumar Gangopadhyay, it said in a statement.

Fixed deposit receipts worth Rs 1.04 crore and some ''incriminating'' documents were seized during the raids, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said.

The ED case is based on an FIR filed by the West Bengal Police's CID and it is alleged that ''a loss of Rs 173.50 crore (was made to) to NSIC (that) lent under its raw material assistance (RMA) scheme'' to the accused.

The alleged fraud was perpetrated ''through criminal conspiracy by submitting bank guarantees (BGs) of other unconnected entities and also fake guarantees (purported to be issued by various branches of the erstwhile the United Bank of India, Kolkata).'' The UBI is now merged with the Punjab National Bank (PNB).

The alleged fraud came to light, the ED said, when these BGs were enforced by the NSIC. The NSIC is an organisation under the ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and it works to promote enterprises in this sector.

The RMA scheme has been devised to provide credit facilities to needy MSME firms. The ED described the modus operandi of the alleged fraud in the statement.

''Funds of NSIC obtained under its RMA scheme were laundered/diverted through accounts of various fictitious supplier firms with the active connivance of Debabrata Halder (a middleman), Utpal Sarkar and Rahul Paul (beneficial owner of fictitious MSME and supplier firms) along with the then officials of NSIC and UBI,'' it stated.

While a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has issued non-bailable warrants against Sarkar and Paul, Halder was arrested by the ED on the November 17.

He is in judicial custody at present.

The ED had also raided at least six places in West Bengal and it froze cash and jewellery worth Rs 18.4 lakh, Rs 3.95 crore deposits kept in the bank accounts of some ''fictitious'' MSME firms and two SUVs (Toyota Fortuner and Toyota Corolla Altis) worth Rs 50 lakh.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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