A sum of Rs 10.5 crore cash is missing from Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank's record, according to the bank's internal investigation team.
The team has found multiple cheques issued by HDIL and its related entites which were never deposited with the bank and yet cash was handed over to them, according to a report in The Times of India.
The report said HDIL and group companies wanted the cash and sent cheques over the past two years to former Managing Director Joy Thomas. Thomas provided HDIL with cash, but The Times of India report said he did not deposit these cheques with the bank. Thomas is suspected to have pocketed over Rs 50 lakh, the report added.
On Thursday, Thomas was sent to judicial custody for 14 days by Mumbai's Esplanade court for his alleged involvement in the Rs 4,355.43 crore scam.
Meanwhile, former PMC Bank director S Surjit Singh Arora has been sent to police custody till 22 October by the court, reported ANI.
"The probe agency had moved an application in the court for an extension of remand of Joy Thomas in police custody. We opposed their plea and the honourable court accepted it. Thomas has been sent to judicial custody now," said Rakesh Singh Arora, advocate of Thomas.
We will also file a bail application soon and will also look into the proceedings of the investigation," he added.
Thomas was presented before the court after his police custody ended on Thursday.
On Wednesday, former director of PMC bank Arora was arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police in connection with the scam.
This is the fifth arrest in the case. Arora was summoned for questioning by the EOW's special investigation team earlier in the day.
He was a director of the PMC Bank and was also on its loan committee, said an EOW official.
"His role in the scam has come to light. He was involved in the loan sanctioning process," the official said.
The EOW has already arrested promoters of HDIL group Rakesh Wadhawan and his son Sarang and former PMC Bank chairman Waryam Singh after the alleged Rs 4,355 crore scam came to light.
On 4 October, Thomas was arrested in connection with the scam. On 8 October, the EOW arrested him after he was summoned to the EOW office at the Mumbai Police headquarters.
It was found that Thomas had converted to Islam and adopted the name Junaid Khan to marry his second wife, who was reportedly a staff at PMC Bank. Besides this, he allegedly accumulated properties in Pune under the new name since 2012 after their marriage.
Last month, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) restricted the activities of the PMC Bank for six months and asked it to not grant or renew any loans and advances, make any investment or incur any liability, including borrowing of funds and acceptance of fresh deposits.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) seized and identified movable and immovable assets worth more than Rs 3,830 crore owned by Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) in connection with the case.
As many as three PMC Bank customers died within 24 hours, including one Fattomal Punjabi and a 51-year-old former employee of Jet Airways named Sanjay Gulati. Their families have alleged that they were "under stress" over the crisis in PMC Bank.
On 4 October, the EOW had arrested HDIL chairman and managing director Rakesh Wadhawan and his son Sarang Wadhawan. On 5 October, PMC Bank's former chairman Waryam Singh was also held in connection with the scam.
The EOW earlier this month registered a case against the Wadhawans and top officials of PMC Bank for allegedly causing losses to the tune of Rs 4,355.43 crore to the bank.
After the scam was unearthed at the bank, which has deposits of over Rs 11,000 crore, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last month appointed an administrator over it, and capped withdrawals at Rs 1,000. On Monday, the withdrawal cap was hiked to Rs 40,000.
The EOW told the court that bank officials replaced 44 loan accounts of HDIL with 21,049 fictitious accounts, to camouflage huge loan defaults by the real estate group which landed the bank in the current crisis.
On 17 September this year, a whistleblower informed the RBI of the mess at PMC Bank. Acting on it, on 23 September, the central bank had placed PMC Bank under an administrator and suspended the management and also banned it from carrying out regular banking activities.
The whistleblower report has detailed the massive misreporting of non-performing (NPAs) by the bank, primarily because of its huge exposure to crippled developer HDIL that owes around Rs 6,500 crore to the bank-as much as 73 percent of its total loan book—as per the whistleblower and also its suspended managing director's admission to the RBI.
— With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Oct 18, 2019 13:59:43 IST