J&K Bank Fraud Case: CBI Books Ambience Group Promoter, 2 Directors

Srinagar: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked the promoter of Ambience Group, Raj Singh Gehlot and 2 directors into a whopping Rs 289 crore Jammu and Kashmir Bank (J&K Bank) loan fraud case.

According to the reports, the Central probe agency booked Aman Hospitality Private Limited (AHPL) and its directors Raj Singh Gehlot, Dayanand Singh and Aman Gehlot for cheating the J&K Bank of Rs 289 crore in connivance with the bank officials.

Gehlot, the promoter of the Ambience group, was arrested in July in a separate money-laundering case linked to an alleged bank loan fraud of Rs 800 crore.

Gehlot’s arrest had come over five months after ACB filed a charge sheeted against two former managers of J&K Bank Rakesh Kumar Kharyal and Kuldeep Gupta and others in the whopping Rs 270 crore J&K Bank loan fraud case.

Gehlot and his company directors are accused of conniving with the bank officials to get the loan account declared a non-performing asset (NPA) to facilitate one-time settlement to the company’s advantage.

The case had come to light after ACB had registered a the case (FIR No. 15/2019) on 24 July 2019 at police station ACB Srinagar on the basis of an information which was the outcome of a verification conducted into the allegations of financial irregularities in the loans availed by AHPL New Delhi from the Ansal Plaza Branch of the J&K Bank New Delhi.

It was alleged that the officers of J&K Bank Ansal Plaza Branch had given loan worth crores of rupees to this firm and in connivance with the firm the loan amounts so sanctioned were declared as NPA to facilitate the firm to have a One Time Settlement to its advantage.

The firm had apparently availed Rs 227 crores as term Loan alongwith Bank guarantee of Rs. 15 crores for the construction of a five star hotel in Delhi with a project cost estimated at Rs. 866.89 crores, the ACB had said.

“The rest of the loans were availed from other banks by the firm as part of consortium loan for construction of the five-star hotel,” ACB had said in a statement.

It added that the firm had pledged mortgaged land including the building of five-star hotel and rentals which would accrue on the commercial area which was proposed to be leased out, hypothecation of all other current assets and personal guarantee of Raj Singh Gehlot who was the Managing Director of M/s AHPL worth Rs. 41 crores favouring a consortium of banks including J&K Bank as the lead bank as part of mortgaged properties, it said.

“However, while looking into the allegations mentioned in the FIR investigation revealed that instead of using the loans sanctioned for the purpose of construction of hotel it was diverted / siphoned out for various other purposes and misappropriated by the borrower Raj Singh Gehlot,” the statement had said.

Investigation, the ACB had said, also established that out of the Rs. 100 crores sanctioned as Term Loan in the first phase to M/s AHPL an amount of Rs. 35 crores has been diverted by Raj Singh Gehlot Managing Director Of M/s AHPL in connivance with the Bank officials and other co-accused and through fictitious firms which were created for the purpose and also by layering the funds through other banks in a complex maze of transactions.

“In this manner they cheated the J&K Bank Ansal Plaza Branch to the tune of Rs. 35 crores,” the ACB had said, adding “Further investigation into the remaining diversions is in progress apart from the allegations of illegally entering into an OTS to the firm advantage by J&K Bank officials.”

It had further said that a charge sheet has been filed by the Anti Corruption Bureau in the concerned court in Srinagar u/s 120-B, 409, 420 RPC and section 5(1)(c), 5(1)(d) r/w 5(2) of the JK PC Act against Raj Singh Gehlot Managing Director of M/s AHPL and co-accused Mohan Singh, Sheela Gehlot and Madhu Bakshi (private persons) and public servants Rakesh Kumar Kharyal and Kuldeep Gupta who were the erstwhile Managers of J&K Bank Ansal Plaza Branch, New Delhi besides the firms M/s Ambience limited, NGR Consultant Pvt. Ltd. and Raj Commercial & Agencies.

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