ED attaches assets worth ₹166 cr. in bank fraud case

Money laundering probe is based on CBI FIR against Varron Aluminium ex-director, bank officials

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached 20 immovable properties worth ₹166 crore in connection with a bank fraud case involving Maharashtra-based Varron group of industries and others. They are located in Mumbai, Pune and Ratnagiri.

The ED’s money laundering probe is based on a First Information Report registered by the CBI against S.P. Sawaikar, then director of Varron Aluminium Private Limited (VAPL), apart from the unknown officials of the Bank of India and the Canara Bank. The Prevention of Corruption Act was also invoked.

The main accused had conspired with his accomplices to cheat the Bank of India by inducing it to discount 246 forged bills backed by the Letter of Credit (LC) of about ₹300 crore opened purportedly by the Canara Bank on behalf of VAPL.

It is alleged that ₹293 crore was credited to the account of VAPL on the basis of false assurances and forged documents. A part of the funds was diverted. The Canara Bank later denied that it had issued the LCs, causing loss to the Bank of India.

The ED probe revealed that the defrauded money was routed multiple times through the group companies and various shell entities floated by the main accused and his associates to evade detection. The funds were used in the Varron group companies and also invested in residential flats and land, according to the agency.

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