Bank loan

Bank loan fraud has been mutually beneficial for Avantha and Yes Bank: ED in court

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) alleged that the alleged fraud on bank loans involving Gautam Thapar was mutually beneficial for the Avantha group, promoted by the businessman, and Yes Bank.

In its response opposing Thapar’s bail application, the federal agency told a local court on Friday that the proceeds of crime of Rs 131 crore had been funneled to companies based in Mauritius.

In support of its charge that the fraud benefited Avantha and Yes Bank, the agency referred to emails dated August 4, 2017 and August 8, 2017 allegedly sent by Thapar to Rana Kapoor, then managing director and Managing Director of Yes Bank. In one of the emails, the agency alleged, Thapar wrote to Kapoor “suggesting that a PE investor has interests in the (Avantha group) companies and that due diligence is underway and that ‘they will endeavor to provide a safe exit to Yes Bank of the Avantha Grouper “.

The agency claimed that a loan transaction between Yes Bank and Oyster Buildwell – a company it said was controlled by Thapar – was the result of a “criminal conspiracy by Avantha Group and Yes officials. Bank ”.

In its response to the court, viewed by ET, the ED wrote: “The real purpose of the transaction was to repay the existing loans of Edelweiss and Aditya Birla Finance taken out by the Avantha group companies. However, it has been shown that the objective on paper was to provide a security deposit to another company in the group under the guise of bogus O&M agreements that were signed but were never intended to be executed. This plot resulted in a loss for the investors of Yes Bank ”.

The agency further stated that “the Avantha group was going through a financial crisis and Yes Bank wanted to reduce the risk of exposure of the group”. For this, various meetings were held, in which bank officials asked the Avantha Group to either reduce the exposure or provide the bank with additional security to secure its existing unsecured loan, the bank said. ED.

He said: “During one of the review meetings it was discussed that Yes Bank can refinance the existing loans of the group companies with Aditya Birla Finance and Edelweiss. Said transaction was beneficial for both parties as the bank obtained shares in CG Power (which was controlled by Thapar) valued at Rs 735 crore, which resulted in additional security of Rs 220 crore for the bank and the group got the loans on better terms such as lower interest rate, 10 year term (and a) 42 month moratorium period in which only interest had to be paid.

This operation relieved the Avantha group, which did not have to renew existing loans at the end of each year. In addition, the interest rate has dropped from around 15% to 9%. The Avantha group has received “the instant proceeds of crime” to settle existing loans taken out with Edelweiss and Aditya Birla Finance, the managing director said.

In a related development, the agency filed its first indictment against Thapar. The court will take up the case, for consideration of the indictment, on October 4.

Seeking bail for Thapar, his lawyer Vijay Aggarwal argued that the bail law is an extension of the right to life and personal liberty as contained in article 21 of the Constitution. from India.

The ED, in its response opposing Thapar’s bail, said a “structure was designed by Avantha Group and Yes Bank officials to channel funds from one company to another. group company in order to possibly repay existing loans from Edelweiss & Aditya Birla Finance “. .

The agency said it recorded a statement from an Avantha Group employee who allegedly claimed that although Thapar was the non-executive chairman of the Avantha Group, he oversaw all critical financial decisions made by the Avantha Group.

The agency informed the court that employees of the Avantha group are summoned to record their statement in order to trace the use of previous loans taken out by the companies in the group that were settled thanks to the loan from Yes Bank.

Seeking to deny Thapar’s bail request, the agency said: “If Thapar is granted bail, it could stop the free flow of information and he could influence his employees, which would hamper the investigation.

The agency arrested Thapar on August 3 for playing a “key role” in laundering more than 500 crore rupees in a bank loan fraud case.

Thapar had denied the allegations, calling himself a “victim” of fraud allegedly played on him by Yes Bank officials.

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