Tuesday, March 21, 2023

CBI books telecom company GTL for diverting ₹4,760 crore loan from IDBI Bank, others

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The CBI has submitted one FIR against telecom infrastructure major GTL for allegedly diverting a significant portion of a Rs 4,760 crore loan from a consortium of banks led by IDBI Bankofficials said. The agency has booked the company, unidentified directors, government officials and vendors under IPC sections relating to criminal conspiracy, deceit and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, following a preliminary investigation that revealed that GTL had fraudulently obtained several credit facilities from a consortium of banks, they said.

According to the FIR, the company allegedly diverted or transferred a majority of the loan amount in conspiracy with its sellers, unidentified bank officials, among others.

The FIR has claimed GTL Limited made advances to suppliers year after year without delivery of material/goods, and eventually these advances were provided.

“Several supplier companies have been set up and operated with the malicious intent of siphoning short-term funds and other credit facilities from the bank in the knowledge of the borrower, namely GTL Limited,” the FIR alleged.

The IDBI Bank had conducted a special audit of the company in 2011 and raised the issue of suspicious transactions with the sellers.

The agency’s Economic Crimes Division has found that on April 1, 2016, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) warned IDBI Bank to red flag the account and conduct a forensic audit, but in its response that took two months was later filed, the bank told lenders on behalf of the entire consortium not to classify the account as “Red Flags” nor to appoint a forensic auditor as it could delay payment of the dues.

The RBI reiterated its guidance and a forensic audit was initiated on July 30, 2016.

The company was engaged in providing telecom network implementation services, operational and maintenance services, professional services, network planning and design services and power management services to telecom operators in India and international markets.

Manoj Tirodkar and Global Holding Corporation Pvt Ltd (GHC) are the initiators of the company, according to the CBI.

The CBI has alleged that an amount of Rs 1,213.97 crore (86.84 per cent) is outstanding against four companies – Acuity Trading Pvt Ltd, Lenity Trading Pvt Ltd, Venerate Trading Pvt Ltd and Vinamara Multitrading Pvt Ltd – who were given huge advances for delivery of material from fiscal year 2009-10 to 2011-12, but delivery orders were completed.

“Ultimately, Rs 1,213.97 crore remained open to these four suppliers, which were gradually supplied until 2017-18,” the FIR claimed.

The CBI found that advances were being made despite their meager net worth and recent incorporation.

“The investigation further revealed that all these supplier companies were incorporated within a short span of less than three months. And the Memorandum of Association (MoA) of these GTL Limited suppliers is exactly the same. There are the same corrections in all MoAs which clearly states established that all MoAs were prepared by the same agency/source,” the FIR claimed.

Entities were investigated during the investigation of some of these suppliers.

“These directors had no knowledge of the supply by them to GTL Limited, source of procurement by supplier companies, where the material was supplied. They also had no knowledge of the work these supplier companies used to do,” it read.

The 2016 forensic audit of the company showed that GTL Limited has made substantial progress in purchasing material from some suppliers, even though purchases from these parties were much less.


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