Millennium Post

CBI files chargesheet against Vindhyavasini Steel, directors for `457 crore bank fraud

New Delhi: The CBI has filed a chargesheet in four separate bank fraud cases against the Vindhyavasini Steel Corporation Limited, which is being probed by the central agency for cheating the State Bank of India of at least Rs 762 crore, officials here said on Tuesday.

The Central Bureau of Investigation filed the chargesheet in four of the total six cases registered against the steel manufacturer and its directors in Mumbai last week, naming directors, financial consultants, private individuals and public servants as accused. Officials here said the total fraud amount in these four cases from April 2018 comes to around Rs 457 crore.

In fact, the CBI had in September this year arrested the company's Chief Managing Director, Vijay Rajendra Prasad Gupta, described as the brains of the operation by agency officials, from Haridwar. The CBI had said that Vijay was absconding and evading legal proceedings and was arrested when discovered.

Other accused named by the CBI in their chargesheet include Vijay's brother and fellow director Ajay Rajendra Prasad Gupta and a financial consultant working with the company known as Vijay Patil. All three are currently in judicial custody.

The CBI had earlier also filed a chargesheet against the company and its directors in two other bank fraud cases, registered in 2016 and amounting to a total of around Rs 305 crore.

The steel manufacturer has been accused of misappropriating the loan amounts sanctioned by the public service bank over a period of years, resulting in a wrongful loss to the public exchequer.

As the agency's drive to prosecute bank defaulters continues, it is pertinent to mention that the CBI has registered the most number of bank fraud cases in the last three years.

Till November 7 this year, the agency had registered at least 76 bank fraud cases, amounting to a total fraud amount of nearly Rs 17,000 crore. In comparison, the CBI had registered 52 such cases throughout 2018, amounting to a fraud of a little over Rs 16,000 crore.

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