PMC bank found another ghost account

Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank has been in highlights due to the fraud these days. Now the investigators of the bank fraud have found another borrower — the Abchal Group — that concealed its identity through password-protected accounts, much in the manner of Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd.

All the ghost accounts are doubted that they are being operated by the entities which is in the knowledge of the bank officials who have been arrested in the case. These accounts are said to have belonged to Abchal Group, these are turned bad and have a 300 crore liability with bank.

As per the details from Registrar of Companies (RoC), Shri Abchal Property Investment Pvt Ltd came into existence in 1992 with a share capital of Rs 1 lakh.

PMC Bank’s core banking solution has been allegedly tampered by the HDIL to access 44 password-protected accounts. After which the loan disbursed to these hacked accounts was credited to the accounts held by HDIL or its promoters Rakesh and Sarang Wadhawan.

“Details have emerged in the draft forensic report and from interrogations. The accused bankers have accepted that like HDIL, Abchal Group, too, used ghost accounts. Inquiries are being made to ascertain who were the ultimate beneficiaries,” said an official. “The accused directors who so far maintained that only HDIL operated password-protected accounts had been lying and hiding information,” the official said.

The investigators will summon the directors of the the Uttam Galva Group. A draft forensic report by Grant Thronton (GT) has reported many instances of alleged “favours” extended by the erstwhile PMC board such as allowing Uttam Galva companies extra time to meet loan obligations, sources said. The Uttam Galva Group was PMC’s second major borrower after HDIL with a loan exposure of over Rs 200 crore.

“We are not aware of any forensic audit findings nor have been asked by any agency to join the probe. Our account is regular as on date,” an Uttam Galva spokesperson told ET in an email. “We have been doing business with PMC Bank for the last 25 years. Uttam Galva Steels Ltd, Uttam Galva Metallics Ltd and Uttam Value Steels Ltd have credit balance in their respective current accounts of Rs 13 cro-re.

As per the sources the Reserve Bank of India-appointed administrator JB Bhoria and the RBI is also planning to implead PMC in the insolvency proceedings against HDIL initiated by Bank of India. In a meeting of the RBI governor, the Maharashtra police Economic Offences Wing (EOW) chief, Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials and Bhoria earlier this week, decision has been taken to was approach the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to auction the bank’s assets. The bank will sell the bankruptcy proceedings under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest (Sarfaesi) Act.